November 2018

Post date: Nov 01, 2018 6:33:17 PM

For those of us in Northern climates, the month of November means the dying of the landscape. It’s colder, darker and the leaves and flowers are gone.

Beginning with All Saints Day on Nov 1st, the scripture readings for November remind us of our mortality and predict war, disaster and end times. It’s enough to make us yearn for a savior or a king—and we get both as the time after Pentecost draws to a close on Christ the King Sunday (Nov 25).

On the surface, there is not much good cheer in the Sunday gospel readings. But buried beneath the darkness and death of November is the promise of resurrected life; an end to sadness and tears; the opportunity to give thanks for, share, and partake of the rich harvest of the earth; and a chance to renew our unwavering, confident trust in God.

All Saint’s Sunday (Nov 4) and November in general are ideal times to acknowledge that although death is a part of life, death does not have the final word. In a society that keeps people alive at all costs, sanitizes death, and even demands that the grieving “move on,” this is our time to collectively pause, grieve, and remember. Our national Day of Thanksgiving comes later in the month, but we might consider All Saint’s Sunday a “little Thanksgiving” for those who have gone on before us and for those on whose faith shoulders we stand.

On All Saint’s Sunday I will read the names of First Lutheran Church members who have died within the last year or so: Adeline Swan, Alan Keith, Cheryl Barnhart, Sylvia Nelson, Harry Kukes, Louise Danton Fennerty and Don Ringe. During the prayers that Sunday, there will be time for you to name aloud your loved ones who have died in the faith recently.

We hear “saints” and we naturally think of famous saints like Peter, Paul, Francis, or Mother Theresa. But as the reformer Martin Luther would remind us, we are all at the same time 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.

Christ the King Sunday wraps up the church year on Nov 25. On the final Sunday of the church year, we celebrate Jesus Christ as the goal and redemption of humanity and all creation. And as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, we thank and praise God for daily bread and for forgiveness, life, and salvation.

Serving God and Neighbor with you, Pastor Dennis