Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, …that he may teach us his ways.” Isaiah 2:3. “…It is necessary to hear the Word of God constantly, in order that our feelings may be enlightened…Christians must live every day by the Word as the body lives by food…The heart is always grinding. If the grain, namely, the Word of God, is good, the flour will be good, and the bread will be good.” From Daily Readings from Luther’s Writings, selected and edited by Barbara Owen.
“The heart is always grinding…”…life and death, sin and Jesus’ righteousness…sinner and saint…lost and found. Our hearts are grinding, and our church year in November brings much of the grinding to our ears and our hearts. We remember All Saints, Christ the King…Christ’s return, the end of the age, and Thanksgiving. Indeed, a full month that runs full circle around our human experience.
The end of the church year and the readings we will hear as we come together around God’s Word look to the end. Do we live and look with anticipation, or do we hold back, putting on the brakes as we are directed to Christ’s return? Living in the now, and yet waiting, this is a part of the grinding of our hearts.
The last Sundays in our church year will confront us with life and death, death and resurrection. The readings will bring out the fearful child in each of us AND the comfort and challenge of the faithful adult.
Living as God’s sinner/saint means living a common life with uncommon generosity, and realizing that it is God alone who can make us righteous people. I invite you to use the days of November as an opportunity to acknowledge the grinding of your heart, and to consider the places that we might “come to the mountain”, to be fed and nourished by God’s Word.