November is also the time to be thankful for saintsPublished 10:12am Friday, November 22, 2013
By the Rev. Jim Rushton
First Lutheran Church, Glenville
It seems to me that we place a lot of emphasis on being thankful in the month of November. Perhaps as the year draws to a close we take more time to reflect on the goodness of God and how he takes care of creation and his creatures.
We have even more reason to praise God for his goodness for all that we have, even when our forefathers still gave thanks in times and places when resources were more scare and so many had to live more simply.
We also pause during this month to give thanks to our veterans. In times of war or peace, you, members of your family and our good neighbors have sacrificed much that we may still enjoy our many freedoms including our freedom of religion.
And while America sees an increasing diverse number of religions, in this article I am thankful for several of our saints who have gone before us who have helped to shape the direction and vitality of our Christian heritage by the help of God: Nov. 1, All Saints Day; Nov. 3, Martin de Porres; Nov. 7, John Heyer, Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, Ludwig Nommensen; Nov. 11, Martin, Bishop of Tours, Soren Kierkegaard; Nov. 17, Elizabeth of Hungary, renewer of society; Nov. 23, Clemens, Bishop of Rome, Miguel Pro, martyr; Nov. 24, Justus Falkner, Jehu Jones, William Passavant, North American pastors; Nov. 25, Isaac Watts, hymnwriter; Nov. 30, Andrew, apostle.
While many of these are part of the Lutheran tradition, Andrew, apostle, is a Christian who all of our traditions recognize.
Andrew is the first among the 12 called. His vocation was one of fishing. As a Christian he brought his brother to Jesus. Together with Philip, Andrew leads many Greeks to speak with Jesus. And it is Andrew who shows Jesus the boy who has the five loaves and two fish. Tradition holds that Andrew was martyred with an “X” shaped cross.
Perhaps this month you could pause a little longer with the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us to be inspired by their lives, give thanks to God for their place among us, and pray that God would gift us so that we too might continue to be a part of the body of Christ into which we have been baptized.
Yes, none other than our Lord and savior wills for us to be part of his Christian church today and celebrate all God’s goodness that he provides in this world and in the world to come.