November 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

In October, I love to walk around town and admire all the leaves: beautiful reds, golds, yellows, rusts and oranges. But by November most leaves have fallen. In Northern climates, November means the dying of the landscape. I always think November is a good month to take an honest look at our own mortality.

Brian Hiortdahl writes this in his Living Lutheran October article, “Let Us See Again.” “Autumn, when everything shrivels and dies is explosively beautiful as it does what the rich young man in Mark 10 cannot: let go, scattering resurrection everywhere. The color-drenched forest confirms the cross: glory lives amid death. The end is just the beginning. What God is doing can be hard, even impossible, for us to see, much less accept or trust. ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God,’ Jesus says. ‘For God, all things are possible’ (Mark 10:27). Oh Teacher, let us see again.”

November is also the last month of the year in the church’s calendar. On November 7th we celebrate All Saints Sunday. We give thanks for all the saints of every time and place who were great examples of Christian faith. We remember loved ones who have died in the faith and now live with God forever. At First Lutheran we remember church members who have died in the past year or so: Della Elfers, Joyce Weekes, Henry Sorensen, Lois Sorensen, Susanne Ponchene, Bill Schmidt, Janet Riggs and Wolfgang Franz. You will have the opportunity to name loved ones who have died in the faith on Nov 7th during the Sunday prayers. In the Apostles Creed we confess that we believe in “the communion of saints.” In a mystical way, all our departed brothers and sisters in Christ are with us whenever we eat and drink the body and blood of our Savior Jesus.

November 21st is Christ the King Sunday and the last Sunday of this church year. Before our society consumes itself with secular holiday madness, we celebrate that Jesus is our true King and Savior, because he died and rose again for us. The kingdom of God, the peaceful and righteous reign of God is the only one that lasts. Thanksgiving Day follows closely on November 25th. We give thanks to God for all his goodness and blessing to us as we gather with family and friends. Of course for Christians, thanksgiving is more than a day. It is a way of life.

By November 28th, we begin a new church year with the First Sunday in Advent. We prepare our hearts and minds to welcome the Christ Child, even as we hear end-time scriptures reminding us to watch and wait for Christ’s final coming.

Serving God and neighbor together with you,

Pastor Dennis