When I was a child, October was one of my favorite months. Perhaps it was my birthday, Halloween, the fall weather, or playing football in the street, but October always seemed somewhat magical.
As an adult, October remains an important month for other reasons. Yes, my birthday is still in October, but I’ve gotten to the age where I prefer to ignore that. Halloween is no longer magical and is now just answering the door for “trick or treaters.”
So what is special about October now?
World Communion Sunday with all its symbolism and potential is a very important tradition to me. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” It is no accident that our denomination has added the theme of peacemaking to World Communion Sunday. This Sunday, when Christians around the globe come to our Lord’s Table as a symbol of our unity, offers the hope that at least Christians can look beyond borders, languages, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds to proclaim that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the one God who created us all.
Of course our call to be peacemakers goes way beyond that, but World Communion Sunday acknowledges that we must start somewhere. We are called to work for peace in our community, and pray for peace and justice to extend beyond our reach and influence. As part of our worship tradition for WCS we circle the sanctuary for the benediction to sing “Let there be peace on earth… and let it begin with me.” And of course that is part of our reminder and celebration too… with all our prayers for global peace we must start by being at peace with the people we see and deal with on a daily basis. World peace will never happen if it doesn’t include us.
October is also the month that we emphasize “Stewardship.” That may not actually be one of our favorite themes; but it is an important one and an important time to consider what we would like to do as a church in the next year and what each of us as individuals can bring to the table to help make that happen, through our pledges but also in our gifts of time and involvement.
What both those themes have in common is that they remind us that the church is not something we go to, but rather something we belong to - a fellowship and ministry that doesn’t happen without our participation. October and November celebrate harvest themes and in October we reflect on all the blessings we have received and what we can do to extend those blessings to our community.
I hope you have an incredible fall.