Dearly beloved in Christ,
We are in the month of November. Let us praise God for His blessings and mercies on us during this year. On November 1st, we are celebrating “All Saints Day,” where we remember with gratitude, those who gave up their lives for the spread of the gospel and mission of the church, especially the Church Fathers. In our Holy Qurbana service, we take time to remember our forefathers & foremothers, especially during the great intercession, and through the chant, “Now as we come to your table…”. This is biblical. “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7, NIV).
We live in a time where we often focus on the present and future, without remembering the past or where we came from. Remembering our past, and learning history, help us to understand who we are, and helps us to move forward into the future. The lessons our ancestors passed down and taught us should not be taken for granted. It should equip us to move forward in our lives today. The faith story that we’ve inherited needs to be passed to the next generation. This will help us to appreciate our faith, and the emerging generations should carry forward these stories of faith. It is important to remember our dear ones, who have fallen asleep in true faith, who led exemplary Christian lives. Their life should be reflected in our life, which is ultimately the life of Christ. Remembrance is meaningful when it translates into action, befitting for the Kingdom of God.
Towards the end of the month, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. We need to be thankful to God for who He is and for what God has done for us. We are not worthy of the blessings of God, but because of God’s love and grace, we experience this. This is a call to humble ourselves before God’s divine presence and live a life of gratitude (not simply through words, but through our life). Also, pause for a moment to be mindful of and remember those who are less fortunate and to help them. I hope and pray that this Thanksgiving will be a time where we can rekindle our relationships with our friends and family, and move towards a spirit of reconciliation through Jesus Christ.
May the grace and mercy of the Holy Trinity be with us all.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 With prayerful regards,
Los Angeles, CA Dennis Achen