Novem­ber!

McDonald County Press - - RELIGION/COUNTY - By Dr. Don Kuehle DR. DON KUEHLE IS A RE­TIRED UNITED METHODIST MIN­IS­TER WHO LIVES IN JACK­SON. OPIN­IONS ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

Novem­ber has fewer good words spo­ken about it than any other month!

The an­cient Ro­mans, when they gave names to the months, did not even bother with Novem­ber. They sim­ply re­ferred to it as “the ninth month.” Novem­ber comes from the Latin word “novem,” or “nine.” Novem­ber was, in fact, the ninth month. At some later date, two more months were added; Novem­ber be­came the eleventh month, yet kept its orig­i­nal name (nine).

Novem­ber has had a fickle his­tory. Orig­i­nally, this month had 30 days, was cut to 29 days, then grew to 31 days. At some point, Novem­ber re­turned to the orig­i­nal 30 days.

Novem­ber has a somber tone to it. The An­glo-Sax­ons termed it the “windy month” be­cause the blus­tery winds blew in from the north, cast­ing the leaves from the trees and putting a chill in one’s bones. Novem­ber was also re­ferred to as the “blood month” be­cause this was the time when peo­ple butchered an­i­mals for their win­ter’s meat sup­ply.

Novem­ber is a time for wind­ing-down and slow­ing-up. The har­vest sea­son is al­most over. The chilly winds and win­try rains put a damper on out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. Novem­ber is a time of fall­ing leaves and fall­ing tem­per­a­tures, a time of dried-up dreams and brief glimpses of death. Whereas October comes clad in golds and reds and pur­ples, and De­cem­ber is dressed in bright reds and greens, Novem­ber wears drab grays and browns. For these, and for other rea­sons, we hurry through Novem­ber with­out so much as a kind word.

Can any­one say a good word for Novem­ber? Yes, we can, for Novem­ber brings us spe­cial times and many rea­sons to cel­e­brate!

Novem­ber ar­rives with All Saints Day. God breathed into each one of us His own holy breath, cre­ated us to be saints. Novem­ber’s brisk air touches us anew with God’s re­fresh­ing spirit.

Novem­ber gives us hope that the God who gave us life will con­tinue to be with us, car­ing for us ev­ery mo­ment of ev­ery day, and chal­leng­ing us to grow up into the like­ness of Christ, as saints!

The first Tues­day of Novem­ber is elec­tion day. From the be­gin­ning, God has given us the re­spon­si­bil­ity for mak­ing our com­mu­ni­ties a heavenly place on earth, com­mu­ni­ties where ev­ery per­son is loved and ac­cepted and treated with re­spect. We carry out our God-given re­spon­si­bil­i­ties by ex­er­cis­ing our priv­i­lege to vote.

On the sec­ond Tues­day of Novem­ber, we ob­serve Veter­ans Day — a time to re­mem­ber those men and women who voted with their lives for God and coun­try, for free­dom for ev­ery­one.

The third Sun­day in Novem­ber is Bi­ble Sun­day — a re­minder that God has spo­ken to the peo­ple of the past, a re­minder that God con­tin­ues to speak to peo­ple in the 21st Cen­tury.

Novem­ber comes to a close with Thanks­giv­ing Day. As saints of God, we have a lot to be thank­ful for. As chil­dren of God, we have learned to pause and give thanks for all our bless­ings!

What bet­ter way to end a day, or a month or a year than by say­ing, “Thank You, God!” Say “Thanks” in the morn­ing, at noon­time and in the evening. Say “Thanks” at ev­ery meal.

Let’s take the time to en­joy these days of Novem­ber — and just maybe, we can say a good word for Novem­ber!

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