JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 GRANGE NEWS
The Best Is Yet To Come
Are the best days of your life in front of you? Our outlook in life, and our answer to that question can change with time. When we are younger, we look ahead. Once we are older, we yearn for the past. But when we walk with God, whatever our age, we know the best is yet to come!
Over the course of his long life, Moses witnessed the amazing things that God did, many of which happened when he was no longer young. Moses was eighty when he confronted Pharaoh and saw God miraculously set his people free from slavery. Moses saw the Red Sea part, saw manna fall from heaven, and even spoke with God.
Moses lived expectantly, looking ahead to what God would do. Even when he was one hundred and twenty years old, he understood that his life with God was just getting started and that he would never see an end to God’s greatness and love.
Regardless of our age, God’s “everlasting arms” faithfully carry us securely through each new day. ~James Banks~ 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.