Greetings to you all.  11/1/2016

First off,.....there was no sermon emailed out this past Sunday because the Pastor was in Chicago to help root on the Cubs in the World Series.  I was there with my two sons and we had a good time.   Unfortunately, they lost the first two games but we were heartened and encouraged when they won the third game Sunday night.   We'll see tonight how things go, but I am hopeful and focusing on one game at a time.

Thanks to Pastor Rachel for filling in this past Reformation Sunday.
And just to remind folks, this Sunday we will celebrate All Saints Sunday (although today is actually that holy day).

Finally,....with all my excitement about baseball, I forgot about preparing a monthly article for The Voice (which just came out)
So here are a few thoughts and reflections to make up for that.   They come, ironically, from my time in Chicago.

When my sons and I got up Sunday morning, we were beginning to feel a bit like we were 'in mourning'.  
The Cubs, in their first World Series since 1945 had lost the first two games in Wrigley Field and were on the verge of losing the Series altogether.   That would not have been so horrible as they had a great season, but to not win any games at the shrine of all ball parks and disappoint so many home town fans (not to mention us and many others who traveled there from all over the country) would have been a very sad thing.

Turns out, they salvaged our weekend and won on Sunday night.
But here is the reflection and how,....dare I say, is a bit like life.
I told my sons that, had the Cubs even lost on Sunday, our trip out there would not have been a mistake or a waste.  For even though we went there to have a joyful and celebratory experience with the thousands of other Cubs fans, we also would have been sharing with those same fans the disappointment of the team's defeat and demise.    They say misery loves company and that would have been true.
I told them that its like in life, when we have others we are close to, be they friends or family, we prefer to celebrate life with them.   Parties and special events like births and baptisms and graduations and weddings and holidays.   But at the same time, we also come together with them at times when things are not so good.   When severe illness, or other sufferings and, most of all, when death occurs.
So we got to experience a bit of both this past weekend.   We shared with many other fellow fans in the heartache of our team losing, but also in the joy.    In the Book of Job, his friends did poor suffering Job the best service they could by just being there with him.
When Jesus was crucified, maybe the worst pain was not the nails, but the fact that his friends abandoned him in his suffering.
Thus, even if they lost every game this weekend, we could have said to ourselves, as Peter said to Jesus on the mountain top, "it's good for us to be here'.   Good for us to be with others on the up days, but also and especially, the down ones.
Blessings to you this day and hope to see you all Sunday.