Pastor’s Blog


All Saints Day
 
November 1 – It’s All Saints Day, the reason All Hallowed E’en exists. The gifts of candy given out the day before are a sweet celebration of the many faithful followers of Jesus Christ that have gone before us, not some goulish romp into the darkness. It is a celebration of life over death. One of my favorite hymns for this day is “For All the Saints.” Read the words of a few of the many verses of the hymn. Picture those who you have loved who are now with the Lord. Remember the stories of those who have courageously loved as Jesus taught us to love, often at great cost to self.
 
For all the saints, who from their labours rest;
who to the world by faith their Lord confessed,
your name, O Jesus, be for ever blessed:
Alleluia, alleluia!
 
You were their rock, their fortress, and their might;
you, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight,
and in the darkness their unfailing light.
Alleluia, alleluia!
 
O blest communion, fellowship divine
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine
in earth and heaven the saints in praise combine:
Alleluia, alleluia!
 
And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
faintly we hear the distant triumph-song;
and hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, alleluia!
 
 
 
Thanksgiving
 
Warm greetings on this American holiday. We often think of this as something instituted by the Pilgrims. It is really more than that. The Feast of Ingathering or Sukkoth is the Hebrew equivalent (Exodus 34:22) that prescribes the importance of recognizing God’s blessing as the final harvest is brought into storage for the winter. We have lost some of that sense in this age of supermarkets, frozen foods and foreign imported fruits and vegetables. Still, it is important to practice the giving of thanks. A grateful people do not take things for granted. So we thank the Lord for the food on our tables, the clothing that warms us as the weather turns cold and the love that surrounds us as we come to the table today. It was the writer, Sarah Hale (1788-1879), who petitioned every American president for 30 years to establish a Federal Holiday to accentuate our need for giving thanks. She also gets recognition for the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Lincoln was the president who signed it into law in 1863 and thus it was set perpetually. A presidential decree is not necessary to create an atmosphere of thankfulness. What is needed is the ability to humble ourselves and take in the vast array of provision and see that we are not self sufficient. We need each other. And more … We need a gracious God who, in his Son Jesus, meets us in his grace to pardon and outfit us for a dynamic and eternal life. Give thanks.
 
Pastor Frank