The second chapter of Matthew tells the story of the magi who travelled from the east toward Jerusalem and ultimately Bethlehem after witnessing the appearance of a star that they knew to be a proclamation of the arrival of the Messiah. We know that the star went on before them and came to rest over the very spot where the infant Jesus could be found. That incredible star that they followed for so many miles, indeed, had led them to both the place and the moment where they could encounter the Son of God. They knew that their journey had been worth it as they worshipped him and offered gifts of great value.
As we journey through this season of advent, leading to the incredible joy that is Christmas, I would invite us to give thought to the metaphorical stars that we follow. We know just how easy it can be for the busyness of the season to become overwhelming, pulling our attention, our time, our energy, and our resources in so many different directions. As people of faith, the star that matters most is not that of celebrity or politics. It is not those of rampant consumerism or holiday obligations. Rather, the star that we seek and follow is the one that bears the light of Jesus' love for each of us.
The magi so long ago were able to look upon the countless stars in the night sky and find the special one that led them to Jesus. May we do the same this season, turning our gaze upon the promise, the hope, the joy, the peace, and the love that we know through our precious Savior. May you and all those that you love enjoy a safe and Merry Christmas as well as a joyous New Year!
Brothers and Sisters in Jesus,
All Saint’s Sunday is one of the high Sunday’s of the church year. It is on this Sunday that we remember all our loved ones who have gone home to be with Jesus. It is a time we remember how they touched our lives and the lives of those around them. We always start the service with the great hymn , “For All The Saint’s” It was written by William Walsham for All Saints Sunday. As the basis for this great hymn , he used the verse from Hebrews that I love to quote on this Sunday. In Hebrews 12:1,” Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely, let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” It was a few days after the New Year, in 2016, and Teresa & I were attending the funeral of Rev. Robert R. Mitchell Jr. at Christ Lutheran Church in Oley. It was a day the church was packed. He was well loved, and many pastor’s were in attendance. I had the honor to deliver the eulogy. The organist played, “ For All The Saints” and stopped after a few verses, and everyone kept singing. It was a powerful moment! Maybe this is what heaven was like when our loved ones arrived. And then as we hear in Revelation 7:17, “ God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
On this most holy day, come and celebrate with us as we remember all those who
have joined Jesus in his Heavenly Home.
In Jesus’ Name, Rev. Gary J. Dierolf
Most people talk of “going to church” rather than “being the church.”