Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Celebrations of November
November is a special month. Most people think so because of Thanksgiving. That has something to do with it, I am sure. But it is a special month because this year there are no less than four special days in the church calendar.
The first Sunday of the month is All Saints Sunday. This isn’t a Sunday that gets all that much press in most churches, but it is the second half of All Hallows Eve (which didn’t have much to do with candy, originally!). All Saints Sunday is when we take time to reflect and remember the saints of our own local church and church family who have left this life to join the Eternal Kingdom. As it is the first Sunday, we will be having communion as well, which will add to the reflective mood of the day.
The second event is Christ the King Sunday, which signals the end of the Christian year. It is a triumphal day that reminds us that celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ as King of the world and all that is. The language is a little difficult for some…king not being a word we normally utilize for Christ. However, as one author wrote, “in a chaotic and unjust world that seems to scorn any kind of authority, many Christians proudly celebrate Christ the King Sunday, where the loving and merciful - and just - king of the universe is praised and glorified.”
The third event is the Community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 22nd, the same day as Christ the King Sunday. It is a time when we come together as a larger community of faith that stretches beyond just United Methodists. That evening we will gather to worship together and give thanks to God.
Finally, on November 29th, Advent begins. This is the first Sunday of the new Christian year as well as the beginning of the preparation time that leads us to the Christmas Season that begins on December 24th. Advent signals a change in the tone of the church, with different colors and decorations – it is a time of joy and wonder as we turn our minds towards the approaching Messiah.
I hope that you will be with us on these special days. We will also be having a few guest speakers this month as well: our own J. C. Smith on November 8th and Bishop Richard Looney on November 15th. These two capable speakers will be a joy to hear.
It is a time of transition, but one that brings newness and expectation with it. Come and be a part of it!
Grace and Peace,