November is a month that always seems to slip in unexpectedly. Just when you’re starting to get used to the fact that there are pumpkins around and it’s supposed to be fall [even if it doesn’t feel so much like it] – WHAM – it is already November.
Already, because there’s something about November that makes you feel like you are on the top of a giant water park slide and about to go flying downhill toward the great unknown.
Our Church Year calendar even contributes to the rush. We begin with an observance of All Saints’ Sunday [November 4], a tradition of the Church that stretches back many centuries. We remember that we are all saints, set aside as God’s own in Christ Jesus, for serving in our Lord’s blessed work. We remember the saints of the Lord who have gone on before us to meet our Lord face to face – especially this past year – and give thanks to God for the new saints washed into the Church this year as well.
It is the last weeks of the Church Year. We’ll hear several passages in worship about the last days before our Lord returns. In the midst of it all comes a civic holiday when we will feast and worship – Thanksgiving. While we give thanks whenever we are together, the Church has surely supported our government’s leaders who have established a day for us to give thanks to the God who provides all.
Then suddenly it is the end – Christ the King – the last Sunday of the Church Year. In contrast to All Saints’ Day [November 1], Christ the King is a relative newcomer, only being around close to 100 years. We end the year pondering our Lord’s imminent and promised return, longing for his coming and hoping for the peace that only Christ Jesus can bring. We also pray that He would be “king” – that He would reign – in our lives even now.
Sure, November may come in its own November-ish way. But we praise our loving Lord that we may worship and serve in this season; that we may lift up our friends to the north who still dig out from the storms through our prayers and gifts; that we may remember and celebrate those God has given us to love; and that we may approach the Church Year’s end, living in Christ generously each day.
– Pr. Joe