With grateful hearts we remember and celebrate the people who have loved us and now share in the heavenly banquet with the saints and all who have gone before us. Throughout the month of November , we will write their names in the Book of Remembrance, light candles in their memory, and share their stories with one another. With hearts and minds united, “Let us sing of his love to all the earth. We are still on our way, we are going home together, let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
With grateful hearts we also celebrate the beauty of the earth. St. Francis reminds us of God’s handiwork as we sing, “The heavens are telling the glory of God and all creation is shouting for joy!”
We are surrounded with abundant blessings of trees, plants, sunshine and rain that sustain and renew all life! We share a harvest of earth’s blessings at our tables; all things apple, pumpkin and squash. Is it butternut, acorn or buttercup? Our kitchens are brewing up vegetable soup, tasty chili and spiced cider. As stewards of our earthly home we are called to increase our efforts to simplify our lives, recycle and care for the earth. A favorite plant that I discovered this summer called, purslane, has tiny succulent leaves, bright fuchsia blossoms, bright yellow centers and reminds me of my mother’s moss roses which open and close to the sun each day. In today’s Gospel, Zacchaeus went out of his way – even climbed a tree to see Jesus. Jesus noticed and came to stay at his house. I recently brought the plant inside to see if it can bloom through the winter. Isn’t that what we are called to do? Open our eyes, turn toward the light and keep on finding ways to bloom?
With grateful hearts, we remember and give thanks for the blessings of healing and health. Throughout this past year Mike and I have had our health challenges; Mike falling off a ladder, enduring surgery to mend several broken ribs, I surviving knee replacement along with a few other challenges. We have had ample opportunity to practice healing and waiting….waiting for surgery, waiting for the results, waiting for the pain to subside, waiting for the sun to come up, waiting on each other with a glass of water, Tylenol or an ice pack. A familiar song keeps rising in my mind… “My grace is all you need, and my life is yours to share, for when you are weakest, I will make you strong”. We have been loved and strengthened by the kind and generous blessing of prayers, greetings, flowers, text messages, food , phone calls and visits from family and friends and wonderful care of medical professionals. We are smiling inside out, knowing that the love and grace of God appears in human form like a beautiful bouquet of “heal-i-um” balloons. As a church community we are called to pass it on! As daylight is waning this time of year, we can be the light of Christ and bring a ray of hope to others. Do you know someone in need of a visit from you today? “We will walk in the darkness, ever close by your side, we will carry each other, our companion and guide. We will share in the story of body and blood. We will live in your wonderful love!”