Orange cushions by a stone fireplace and talk of the devil on Halloween was too intriguing to pass up. But to keep things in sequence, I listened to the All Saints worship video for Gilman Lutheran Church near Spring Valley, Wis. first, which was also posted mid-day on Saturday.
A couple of white taper candles burned steadily amidst a variety of crosses and wooden arches (so, not actually the Gilman building) as the hymn “For all the Saints” was being played. Gilman is part of the Trinity Valley Lutheran Parish, along with St. John’s and Spring Lake. They will be continuing to rotate drive-up worship through November.
Robed in white like the angels by the throne in the reading from Revelation who had “come out of the great ordeal” Pastor Dwaine introduced Pastor Amelia, who gave the sermon.
Emphasizing “all” and saying how Jesus changed the definition of “saints,” Pastor Amelia said it’s time to “reimagine what blessings look like.” Maybe the blessings won’t be as “shiny and spectacular” as when we “let the world get in the way.” (Myself, I still find bright sunshine to be a grand source of shiny and spectacular even if sometimes fleeting.) The promise of transformation means turning things around to see an experience differently.
No kind gesture is insignificant.
A bell was rung for each soul who departed the earthly congregation during the past year, as well as for the newly baptized.
Pastor Amelia continued to talk about the need to acknowledge and act during her Bible study series, “Could it be Satan?”
Talking about “spiritual warfare,” she said, “It doesn’t have to be scary.” What it’s about is “not anger, violence or negativity.”
Although even Jesus was “grieved and agitated,” the idea is more about the victory of virtues — the old reliables like patience, kindness, humility and forgiveness. And your costume matters, such as being girded with the truth.
Also, worship, which can take a variety of forms. Pastor mentioned flags in the sanctuary flown by a devout woman night and day, which created a sacred space that reverently gave her “Holy Ghost bumps.”