November marks the end of the church year. The end of the church year emphasizes the end of time. The Lord would have us be ready for the end. The Gospel readings for the last three Sundays of the month talk about the Last Day with the theme of being ready. The way one gets ready is to do what the beatitude above says, “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” We hunger and thirst for Christ’s righteousness. We receive this righteousness in His church. That is what makes us ready for the end. To be ready for the end, we come to receive Christ’s righteousness often.
Sunday, November 5th, we observe All Saints’ Day. The Gospel reading is Jesus’ beatitudes from the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:1-12. Truly blest are they that have these characteristics that describe a person who lives by faith. God’s blessing comes first to enable us to do what the beatitude says.
Sunday, November 12th, begins the series of three Gospels describing the Last Day. On this day we look at Matthew 25:1-13. The foolish maidens in the parable didn’t have oil for their lamps to shine and thus weren’t ready. That compares to those who won’t have faith for their lives to shine. Without faith they won’t be ready. Where we get the oil of faith is God’s church. To be ready for the end we need to be there to receive the oil.
Sunday, November 19th, continues about the End with another parable about it from Jesus – the parable of the talents. This parable talks about how to use what God has given us. It describes how a person lives by faith until the end. Such a life takes away the stress and tension of the Last Day. Living by faith, using the gifts God gives us keeps us from worrying about things we have no control over. Living by faith keeps us ready.
Wednesday, November 22nd at 7 PM is our Thanksgiving Eve Service. We can take a break from talk about the end and celebrate the many blessings God showers upon us every day. The Gospel is Luke 17:11-19, the Ten Lepers. This true story of gratitude of just one out of the ten helps us see the importance of giving thanks to God. It’s easy to forget. This service will help us remember.
Sunday, November 26th is the Last Sunday of the Church year. The Gospel reading is again about the Last Day. Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats. The sheep, who have been blessed by the Father, get to collect on the inheritance prepared for them from the Foundations of the World. They had served the Lord amazingly during their lives. The curious thing is, they didn’t even notice that they had done it. They didn’t keep track of their good deeds. The good works just flowed naturally from faith. That is the way of faith. As we live by faith that we receive and are kept in in God’s church, our lives look like theirs with simple acts of love towards others that no one except them and God may notice.
See ya in church as we receive together the blessings of faith that make and keep us ready for the Last Day, for heaven.