This month at Grace UMC we'll express thanks to God in several ways. This Sunday, November 6, is All Saints Sunday. Next week the 13th we'll have a reception for our veterans and a Thanksgiving lunch following the 11:00 service. And November 20 is Christ the King Sunday, celebrating the Lordship of Christ over all things. There is much to be thankful for!
In the early days of the Christian church, every Sunday was dedicated to a particular saint. Eventually there were more than 52 "saints" of the church, so in the fifth century a decision was made to commemorate the saints of the faith in an annual observance on November 1. The practice in some churches then changed to include not just recognized saints of the faith, but others who inspired, taught, and led us in the ways of Christ. Then it expanded further to members of the church and loved ones of members. When people became too busy to worship on an assigned date-- November 1-- churches began observing All Saints Sunday on the Sunday closest to it. So this Sunday is one of the really important Sundays of the year.
We'll name the three members of Grace UMC who died over the last twelve months, and we've asked for the names of immediate family members of Grace folk who also have died this year. We've only received a few of these names, so if you have lost a loved one and would like their name read on Sunday, this is your last chance. Please email info@gracesherman or call the church office by Thursday at noon.
Ultimately the message of All Saints Day is for the living-- for us to grow so much in our own faith that someone will one day remember us. Daniel 7:18: "But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever--forever and ever." Amen! Ephesians 1:11-12: "In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory." Amen!