Greetings Dear Fellow Redeemed,
Fall has finally arrived in Michigan and once again we are beginning to experience the beautiful fall colors of God’s amazing creation. In all honest, I must admit to you the fact that I have not always been a big fan of the season of autumn. As a youth growing up in Nebraska I greatly disliked this season because it meant the leaves of the many large trees in our yard would begin filling up the ground below them. Thus having to rake up these disguarded items and dispose of them became an annual task for me to undertake. A task I did not relish in the least.
It was not until 1990, when I and my family made a trek up through Michigan and over to the northeastern states, that I begin to appreciate the wonderful blessings of this unlikable season. It was on this vacation where I was completely blown away by God’s beautiful creation displayed in the fall foliage. The colors were amazing and the splendid scenery was well beyond my wildest imagination. Truly, our Almighty God, who is the creator of heaven and earth, is an unbelievable master painter and artist. After our fantastic trip to the Upper Midwest, Canada, and the New England states, my heart was transformed and I had a new appreciation and passion for autumn. My suggestion to each of you is this: If you have never been to the northeastern part of our great country in the fall, please make it a point to plan a trip to this portion of America. I guarantee you it will give you a new and fresh insight into who God is as Creator and what a wonderful creation He has designed for you and me to enjoy.
As I sit and reflect on what else God would have me share with you in this newsletter article I am guided to make mention of our celebration of Reformation. We will be celebrating this Church Festival on Sunday October 27th, although it actually falls on October 31st. This festival has a great deal of meaning for us as Lutherans and Christians because Dr. Martin Luther, an early leader and theologian of the Lutheran Church, was a main catalyst God used to help bring Christ-centered reform, and a renewed respect for the true teaching of Holy Scripture, to the Christian Church of his day. This faithful man of God, along with other 16th century reformers, was used mightily by the Lord to bring about greatly needed change within His Church. What a wonderful blessing we have received from the Lord, as His people, through the God glorifying work He carried out in Martin Luther during the period known as the Reformation. To God be the glory great things He has done in and through those faithful followers, such as Martin Luther, who desired to faithfully carry out His will and follow His ways. May we, as modern day Christians and Lutherans, be among those faithful believers who have a passion to read and study God’s Word, and then live it out in our daily lives to His praise, honor, and glory.
November has two very special celebrations I want to acknowledge in this article. The first one is on November 11th and it is Veteran’s Day. This day has been set aside by our country to recognize those men and women, who have faithfully served this great nation as members of our Armed Forces. In a day and age when there has been some concern about the level of patriotism in our country, it is important we remember and honor those individuals who have given of themselves to serve in our various military branches. Let us forever remember that our freedom is not free, it has and will continue to come at a very heavy price. A sincere thank you is offered to all of the Military Veterans of these United States of America.
The second celebration we will enjoy this month is on November 28th, Thanksgiving Day. What a wonderful time it is to thank our dear Lord for all the blessings He has so richly poured out on us over the last year. Especially in the farming community there is an opportunity to give thanks for the fall crop harvest. We may plant the seed, but the Lord is the one who provides the sun, rain, and growth of the crops.
Most importantly, we are called to give thanks to God for the incredible gift of salvation which He has secured for you, me, and all who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. It is by God’s grace we are saved, through faith in Jesus, as Lord and Savior. Give thanks with a grateful heart, gives thanks to the Holy One; give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ, His Son. Give thanks!!!! A most blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you! I look forward to seeing you for our 7:00 pm Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service here at Emmanuel.