November 21, 2022
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we enter the Holiday Season, I share with all of you, my excitement. During the month of November, we celebrated All Saints Day which celebrates the Communion of Saints – those who are with God in heaven and those who are on their way to heaven. Following our service that day, our fellowship was a bit different than usual. We did not have a coffee hour, but we did gather for fellowship in the church. We concluded the Eucharistic Service, and then gathered in small groups in the church to share with each other the impact our loved ones who are with God in heaven had in our lives.
As your pastor, I was physically and emotionally moved to witness and hear all of you share a little about someone special in your life. On this day, I share with you how special each of you are to my family and I, but more importantly to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you – for being a part of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church – for being a part of the body of Christ. I am thankful for your love, passion, service and call to be faithful stewards of the body of Christ and all that you are able to do to support the life and ministry of the church.
I ask you to take a moment and reflect what it means to you to be a part of this community. For me it means the world! It means the world because I have been called to serve you – to provide you with your spiritual care – your spiritual nutrition by the power of the Holy Spirit and despite my imperfections of which I strive for perfection. I am humbled to share the Good News of the Gospel with you to go forth into the world as people of God personifying the image of Christ. I thank you for confiding in me, an ordinary individual called to do an extraordinary task.
Let us give thanks to God for one another as we have crossed paths during God’s time to love, care and grow in faith with one another. Our time together continues to emerge in celebration as we not only celebrate Thanksgiving but prepare ourselves during the season of Advent for the gift of God given for the people of God. The Birth of our King! Our Emmanuel, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Our Joy to the Word – the One who is to come, Our Peace on Earth, who will bring us comfort and joy – The one who will Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Glory to the Newborn King – God and sinners reconciled.
My beloved St. Matthew’s, what a wonderful time of the year as we celebrate side by side in the flesh. This season of Advent that we enter prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas as well as the preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. Let us give thanks to God for the hope, love, joy, and peace we receive from God’s gift to us – for these gifts we all have received and are reminded of each year at this time.
I thank God for these gifts each day but more so at this moment as I witness these four gifts in all of you. You the communion of Saints who not only share the impact your loved ones have made in your life but how we come together in the temple of the Lord to create our own memories in this community and expand the body of Christ impacting the lives of one another.
Let us continue creating memories together as we celebrate life. Let us enjoy our time together as we give thanks to God for leading us to this community of faith to grow in the faith as we celebrate God’s gift for us – let us be God’s gift to one another. A blessed Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan J. Recabarren, Pastor