Well, as I mentioned at the top of the service today, we are celebrating All Saints Day. It is a time for us to honor and to remember all of our loved ones who have died, and to remember that their light, their spirit, is still very much alive with us.
Well, in just a couple of months from now, in December, I have a birthday coming up. And I can't believe it, but I'm going to be 57. Now, my 50s have been great so far. And I really mean this, my 50s have been the best decade of my life. And so much of that has to do with the fact that I am the pastor of this wonderful church, which I love so much. But you know, the 50s have also brought about some gray hairs, and some wrinkles and some extra pounds. And just recently, this happened (puts on his glasses)...
Well, when I was a boy growing up in New York, I really didn't collect anything. But my two brothers did. My older brother collected baseball cards, and my younger brother collected comic books. They were so protective of those collections. They kept them in those clear plastic sleeves, and forbade anyone from getting close to them or from touching them. There was one comic book that my younger brother was the most protective of. It was a Superman comic book, the one where Superman goes to the Bizarro World. Have you heard of this one? It is actually very valuable today, this comic. But Superman goes to the Bizarro World, where there is a planet called Htrae, which is the word Earth spelled backwards, because everything in the Bizarro World is backwards from the way it is on Earth.
I recently came across a very interesting article online and the article was entitled, “No, that's not in the Bible.” And it listed 11 things that most people think are in the Bible, but they're actually not. So for example, there weren't three wise men at Jesus's birth. I know every Christmas, we put out our nativity set with the three wise men. But the Bible says that these visitors were magi from the East. The Bible never says there were three of them. And the Bible never says they were men.