December 2021

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

Dear Redeemer Family:
Believe it or not, we are entering the Season of Advent. I find it hard to believe that it is here already. One of the emphases for the Wednesday evening services this year is a little remembered theme of Advent, namely, darkness. I find that interesting, especially as the days are growing dark so early this time of year. We tend to think of darkness as bad, and light as good. But that is not always the case. Rather they often complement each other. In the case of Advent, the darkness anticipates the coming light. That is a different view of things. And it is often a good thing to look at things differently.

One of the hymns in the Red hymnal that is suggested for use at this time is hymn #245, “Creator of the Stars of Night.” It is a new hymn, for us. But, the words date from the 9th century, and were originally in Latin. The tune is also old. It is what is called a plainsong. I liked the words, which I now share.

“Creator of the stars of night, your people’s everlasting light, O Christ, redeemer of us all, we pray you hear us when we call.

When this old world drew on toward night, you came; but not in splendor bright, not as a monarch, but the child of Mary, blessed mother mild.

At your great name, O Jesus, now all knees must bend, all hearts must bow; all things on earth with one accord, like those in heav’n, shall call you Lord.

Come in your holy might, we pray, redeem us for eternal day; defend us while we dwell below from all assaults of our dread foe.

To God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, Three in One, praise, honor, might, and glory be from age to age eternally. Amen.”

For a hymn that I had never knew, and is only about 1,300 years old or so, I think that the words are beautiful, and sum up Advent perfectly. I home that read these words over, and cherish them this Advent Season.

In Christ,

Pastor Rose

November 2021

“My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God.” 1 Samuel 2:1

Dear Redeemer Family:
It is hard to believe that we are in November already. And with November, we have the end of the Church Year. It has been a quick year in many ways. And it has been definitely a better year than 2020. The pandemic has waned a bit. The Delta surge is subsiding. Let us hope that this is the ending of that chapter of history. And, hopefully, we will be able to celebrate.

In the Church, November is a month of celebrations really. We begin on the first day of November celebrating All Saints’ Day, and the following day is All Souls’ Day. We celebrate the whole Church; living, dead, and yet to come. That makes for a good-sized party. While the world celebrates the end of October with Halloween (All Hallows’ Evening), the true holiday is Nov. 1st. We commemorate all of the saints throughout history. All who have come to have faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and whose lives have bore witness to Him.

Later in the month, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Strangely, Thanksgiving is a National holiday. But, the Church has “adopted” it. The belief is simple: everyday should be a day of thanksgiving to God. On this day, in particular, we set aside and emphasize our thanks. Originally, it was a day of repentance, but it seems to have grown into literally a “Feast Day.” Among other things, it also commemorates the harvest to get us through the winter. True, many of us overeat on Thanksgiving, and possibly overindulge on football. But, the emphasis is upon giving thanks to God for mercies received. And, we all have things to be thankful for. That is reason to celebrate as we go into the “holiday season.”

And finally, we end the month with Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the Church Year. It is the day which celebrates Our Lord’s enthronement at the end of time. It is thus a “looking forward” holiday, looking forward to the end of the age. It is then that all things are to be but right with Christ’s final, eschatological (if you want the theological term), victory over sin, death and evil. It looks forward to the culmination of the age and Christ’s kingship over us. It is well something worth looking forward to in anticipation.

November is a time for celebration. As days turn darker and colder. We need to remember that this month, we really have a lot to celebrate and be glad in. So, I wish all of you a very happy November, with all that it brings. Our hearts exult in the LORD!

In Christ,
Pastor Rose