November 2017

Post date: Oct 31, 2017 4:52:40 PM

Dear People of God,

I took the hummingbird feeder down yesterday for the winter. We have had some frosty nights already, so I have plugged in the dog’s outside water dish and the heated dog-bed inside Buddy’s dog house. These are always sure signs for me that late fall and winter are approaching. I really enjoy all the gold and red leaves on the trees this time of year. At the same time, it’s sad to see the flowers die and the garden come to an end. I always think that November is a good month to remember our own mortality and to trust all the more in the new and everlasting life freely given to us through Christ Jesus.

During the month of November we are finishing up the current church year and preparing for the next. We are wrapping up the year of “mostly Matthew” and preparing for the year of “mainly Mark.”

November 5th is All Saints Sunday in the church calendar. All Saints Sunday celebrates the whole baptized people of God, both living and dead, who are the body of Christ. Just as November brings the dying of the landscape in many northern climates, like our own, the readings and liturgy call us to remember all who have died in Christ and whose baptism is now complete. At the Lord’s table we gather with the faithful of every time and place (“the communion of saints” as it says in the Apostles Creed). We trust that the promises of God will be fulfilled and that all tears will be wiped away in the New Jerusalem.

We hear “saints” and we naturally think of famous saints like St. Peter, St. Paul or Mother Theresa. But as the reformer Martin Luther would remind us, we are all at the same saints and sinners. We are all sinners for sure, but at the same time saints, because of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. During the prayers on Sunday November 5, I will read the names of FLC members who have died in the faith in the past year or so: Esther Everett, Lovelia Case, Gladys Wahle, Ron Koester, Roberta Saville, Shirley Crowley, Joanne Pugh, Karen McLean and Terry Widner. During the prayers that Sunday, there will be time for you to name aloud your loved ones who have died in the faith recently.

Christ the King Sunday concludes the church year on Nov 26th. On the final Sunday of the church year, we celebrate Jesus Christ as the goal and redemption of humanity and all creation. Our National Day of Thanksgiving falls on November 23rd. It is wonderful to gather with family and friends and give thanks to God for all his goodness to us. Of course, for Christians, every day is a Thanksgiving Day to God our Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer. Every day we thank and praise God for daily bread and for forgiveness, life and salvation.

Serving God and Neighbor with you, Pastor Dennis