SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 GRANGE NEWS
Creator, Creation, Call
Plants give off oxygen in photosynthesis and thus provide oxygen for respiration of human beings and animals. Human beings and animals give off carbon dioxide for plants to use. This interdependence that God has built into all creation is the pattern for our lives in Jesus Christ. We all worship the same God and face many of the same problems, yet each of us experience life in unique ways. Our unique perspective may provide just the right pathway for others to gain insight to apply to their lives. Each of us belongs to others and each of us is to offer our unique gifts and talents to help the body grow.
What are your spiritual gifts and how do you use them? Ask God for guidance in reviewing your gifts and service. Are you mutually dependent on others or are you trying to be a “lone ranger?” How can we offer our services as a living sacrifice?
~Meeting God in Community~
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 GRANGE NEWS
All Saints Day is celebrated on November 1 in the Christian church. It is an opportunity to give thanks for all those who have gone before us in the faith.
From the early days of Christianity, there is a sense that the Church consists of not only all living believers, but also all who have gone before us. Hebrews 12 encourages Christians to remember that a "great cloud of witnesses" surrounds us encouraging us, cheering us on.
On All Saints Day we remember all those—famous or obscure—who are part of the "communion of saints" we confess whenever we recite “The Apostles’ Creed.” We tell the stories of the saints "to glory gone."
Alongside the likes of Paul from the New Testament, Augustine, Martin Luther, and John and Charles Wesley, we tell stories of the grandmother who took us to church every Sunday. We remember the pastor who prayed with us in the hospital, and the neighbor who changed the oil in the family car. We give thanks for the youth leader who told us Jesus loved us, the kindergarten Sunday school teacher who showered us with that love, and the woman in the church who bought us groceries when we were out of work.
Retelling these stories grounds us in our history. These memories teach us how God has provided for us through the generosity and sacrifice of those who have come before us. The stories of the saints encourage us to be all God has created us to be.
Charles Wesley's hymn tells us those "to glory gone" are joined by the "saints on earth," whom we also celebrate on All Saints Day. We think of the inspirational people with whom we worship on Sunday, and those across the world we will never meet. We celebrate fellow Christians who inspire us, and whose lives encourage us. We give thanks for those with whom we agree, as well as those whose views we do not share.
Additionally, we remember and pray for our sisters and brothers in Christ who faithfully follow Jesus in places where being labeled a Christian puts them in harm's way.
On All Saints Day, we give thanks for both the saints in glory and those on earth, who have led us to Jesus. As they have shared the gospel with us, may we add our voices so someone else may hear about the grace and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thanks be to God for the lives of his saints.