We will celebrate All Saints Day as well as Reformation and Reconciliation Sunday this week. We will look back at times when the church seemed lost as the world around it threatened to fall apart, yet it found a way forward and helped save that world. The saints and reformations and reconciliations of the past can inspire and guide us today in a world that feels more endangered than ever, and in a culture where churches are grieving losses and feeling lost.
We can find hope for the future in these stories of the past. We can find comfort for the present in the scriptures and hymns that have come down to us from other challenging times. The children will hear the last of a long string of stories about Moses leading the children of Israel across the wilderness to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 34:1-12). We will read from the 126th Psalm and hear Jesus give the two great commandments in Matthew 22:34-46.
We will sing Martin Luther’s great Reformation hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” and the classic All Saints Day hymn, “For All the Saints.” We will also sing a beautiful old hymn from the Pilgrim Hymnal, “In Heavenly Love Abiding.” (You can hear the tune on YouTube below.)
The choir will sing a verse of “Many Gifts, One Spirit,” as well as “Faith to Carry On.” Laila Reimanis will be playing flute. Pianist (and Choir Director) Annemieke McLane will play pieces by Robert Schumann (“Der Dichter spricht” from Kinderszenen) and Alexander Scriabin (Prelude Opus 11. No. 2 & 4).