The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



A convergence of events reminds us of death, life & giving thanks

It’s November, that time of year when—at least in the place where I live—things begin to fade, leaves fall, temperatures grow less-than-temperate. A time for thinking of last things and those saints who have gone before us in faith. I think especially of my friend, colleague and brother in Christ, Bishop John Schreiber, who died so unexpectedly (October, "Schreiber, Southeast Michigan Synod bishop, dies"). All Saints’ Day comes around again, soon it will be Thanksgiving Day and bracketing the other end of this month, the feast of Christ the King. It’s November.

It’s that time of year when I consider the dust of which I am formed. What is the reality of this present life and what shall we become tomorrow? In death, the great equalizer, where are the poor and where are the rich? Where are the weak and where are the strong? They–we–are all dust.

It’s that time of year when I think of saints, especially those, like John, most dear to me. We give them back to God who gave them to us. But God didn’t lose them in giving them to us, and so we don’t lose them in giving them back either. For what is given to us remains ours as we continue to belong to God. As someone once said, “Life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing except the limit of our sight.”

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