Pastor's Ponderings

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What Will It Be Like on the Day After the Election?

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What Will It Be Like on the Day After the Election?

Two weeks ago, your pastoral staff was involved in a lively discussion and busy exercise. We were trying to decide if we had anything of further value to add into the discussion of the current presidential election. This has been an unusual election in many respects. The two most highly unfavorable candidates in history, the moral issues and qualifications of each candidate, the bitterness and acrimony that has been shown and the coarse and troubling language that has been present are all matters of serious concern to everyone with a conscience and a love for this country. And so, there are many things we as followers of Christ would find objectionable and troubling.

There are some Christian leaders who quite willingly and often use their pulpit and pastoral office to offer their opinions and counsel with regard to candidates, parties and policies. I do not. I have a call to preach the gospel, administer the sacraments, counsel the sick, teach the faith and order the life of the congregation. There has certainly been plenty said about the merits and limitations of each candidate and I decided there was nothing more to be gained at this moment by adding my own words or the words that the pastoral staff we might collectively put together.

What I do wish to offer is an invitation to pray. There is an old gospel song that has the words, “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need him now.” Amen. This is a time for all of us to pray for our nation, our leaders, our fellow citizens as we move towards a more perfect future which is better and brighter than the current day.

I would also offer the words that Sharon Cole sent me that she found came from the author and pastor Max Lucado:
"I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God's perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won't on November 9, 2016. "The LORD can control a king's mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1)."

Amen and amen. I will be on my knees as the nation goes to the voting booths. May God be with us all.

See you in church.

Rev Steve

One Pastor's Take on Halloween

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It is thought that Halloween started out as a pagan, Celtic holiday. The Celts of Ireland celebrated October 31 as the official end of summer. This pagan holiday got tied to a Christian holy day (All Saints’ Day – November 1). All Saint’s Day (or, All Hallow’s Day) is November 1. It is a day to remember those good souls who died in the faith. Halloween (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Eve”) is the evening before All Saint’s Day.

Some of our Christian brothers and sisters have forgotten this bit of history. They’ve forgotten that the original intent of the day’s traditions was to scare away evil spirits. They think that, because children (and adults!) dress up like witches and ghosts and demons, the holiday is really paying homage to witchcraft and sorcery and Satan.

I don’t think anybody is seriously trying to honor Satan and evil by dressing up and going to a party or door-to-door to get some candy. Just as God isn’t honored by empty worship, neither is Satan supported by impish appearances. I think Halloween is harmless. I don’t think Satan gains many disciples through costume parties and trick-or-treat.

 Put your fears behind you this Halloween. Carve a jack o’ lantern, wear a mask, bob for apples. Give out some candy and have some yourself. Then take time on November 1 to recall some of the believers and saints that have enlarged our faith across the years. They are all around us if we but stop to look.

 See you in church.

 Rev Steve

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