Today’s devotion is a recent offering by Rev. Laura Auten, reprinted from The Vital Web, a ministry of The Uwharrie District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, November 3, 2016
November is a remembering month for me. My mother's birthday is in November. My paternal grandmother's birthday was in November and sometimes fell on Thanksgiving Day. My father died on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 2006 -I remember the day and the hour. November begins with the bittersweet joy of All Saints' Day and ends with festive days full of gratitude and Advent preparation. November begins with the remembrance of those who have gone before us and concludes with a glorious celebration of Christ the King who leads the way for all of us -yesterday, today and tomorrow.
If I were in charge of the liturgical calendar, I would make November a season unto itself. We need a full thirty days to comprehend that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses whose faithfulness to Christ continues to light our way. And we need more time for the remembering. The older I get, the more time and breath I need to name the saints, to name my saints. This remembering happens in our area of the world when leaves are falling all around us and nature is preparing for winter. With nature's cue, what better time to ponder that even death cannot shatter love, that the grave will not bury our hope, our witness or our mission. The Light of the saints will not be extinguished. What Jesus makes possible for us in life and in death will lead us to a place of gratitude. Sweeping our hearts with thankfulness seems an appropriate way to prepare for Advent. November is preparation for the great preparation of Advent -making room in our lives for the One who makes all things possible, who is seated at the right hand of God Almighty and who is born anew in our world. We need all of November to experience this!
This year, the presidential election throws a kink into my autumn liturgical sensibilities. This will be a November to remember! Debates, red power ties, white power suits, polls and projections are on the main stage right now and we will surely thank God when November 8 arrives if for no other reason than the commercials, the political rhetoric and the automated phone calls will end. I, for one, will be thankful. Maybe we need November 1 to help us with November 8. For sure, Christian saints teach us about the strengths and weaknesses of leadership, about the virtue of humility, about lessons learned from the past and about bright hopes for tomorrow. And, Christ the King Sunday certainly puts Election Day in proper perspective about the gift of power and its rightful use.
This November I am going to start a new tradition. The candle that I light on All Saints' Day, I will also light on particular days throughout the month to remember loved ones. I will also light it on Thanksgiving and on Christ the King Sunday. It will also be the Christ candle for my Advent wreath. And this year, I will light this candle on November 8, Election Day. I will pray for our world, our country and for our leaders. I will pray for those who rejoice over the outcome of the election and for those who are disappointed with the results. I will pray for the peace that passes all understanding for those who are powerless and for those who are power hungry. I will pray for those who wait, adventaciously, for good news of an election result, a ceasefire, a diagnosis or for any sign of grace and hope. Can you light a candle, too?
Remembering and praying; let the Advent begin!