“Love is the preeminent characteristic of God,” says theologian John Sanders. Love is both promised and on display in this week’s scripture readings. The prophet Isaiah proclaims that God makes a feast for all people and wipes away the tears that are caused by death, despair, and disgrace. The book of Revelation affirms a future in which God dwells among mortals, and mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. The gospel of John recounts a story of how Jesus loved his friend Lazarus and freed him from the power of death.
This Sunday, November 4, we will light candles for loved ones who have joined the saints in the light during the past twelve months. April will speak about “The One for Whom We Wait.” Jonathan will preside at the table for Holy Communion. To prepare for worship, you could read Isaiah 25:6-9, Revelation 21:1-6a, and/or John 11:32-44.
Following each of the morning services, a “Mission Market” will offer opportunity to learn about, and contribute to, various world, local, and emergency response missions in the world. We have come to call this Sunday “Heifer Plus Sunday” because the RHUMC community is especially fond of giving gifts of animals, plants, and seeds to friends and family members for Christmas. Through the organization Heifer International, the recipient (honoree) gets a card describing the gift; animals or other farming support are presented to families in places where life has been hard and practical help is needed. The word “Plus” in our nickname for the day refers to all the other missions that will be on display and available. You can learn a lot (and pet some rabbits!) by visiting Wesley Hall on Sunday between 9:30 and 10 am, or between 11 am and noon.
An additional opportunity to gather in prayer among people of faith is being hosted on Friday, November 2, by Congregation Ner Tamid. This “Solidarity Sabbath” with our Jewish brothers and sisters will begin at 6:30 pm at the synagogue, 5721 Crestridge Rd, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. The invitation states, “This Shabbat, to combat hatred, we will fill our community with love and respect for all of humanity.” All are welcome.
See you in worship!