Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, developed as a day of preparation for All Hallows, or All Saints Day. All Saints Day is a holy day of remembrance for those who have departed this life for the next. We remember them, give thanks for their lives and God’s mercy and grace in welcoming them into his kingdom, and pray God’s peace and comfort on those who remain and grieve. While All Saints Day is intended to be a day of light and hope, there is a shadowy undertone, as we acknowledge the pain and sorrow that death often brings. As is often the case, where-ever the people of God seek to celebrate life and hope, a spirit of dark oppression is near at hand battling against the Spirit of God.
So, a couple of thoughts this week:
- I enjoy the lighter side of Halloween and see nothing wrong with dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, or even a somewhat temperate haunted house. One of the ways we cope with the darker side of life is by domesticating it, and this is probably a healthy thing for most of us.
- The realty that some people have unhealthy connections to the darkness that may accompany the season does not mean we should completely eliminate it from our lives. We do not eliminate food from our lives simply because some people have unhealthy relationships with food.
- Halloween can serve a spiritual purpose, by ‘getting the scary stuff out of the way’, placing it in proper perspective, and preparing us for a free and open celebration of life and New Life found on All Saints Day.
- Combat the Darkness where you find it. Confront the demonic head on. Consider walking your neighborhood Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and praying for the children and families there. Let your light shine in the darkness so that others may see it and give glory to your Father in heaven.
- On All Saints Day, mention it to others. Light a candle on your desk. Wear a white ribbon in honor of a departed loved one. Buy flowers for yourself, or better yet, give some away to others.
- Gather with others on Thursday, All Saints Day, for a time of prayer of comfort for those who grieve, and of celebration for those who have entered Life.
You may have other thoughts that would help strengthen the work of Christ this week. I’d love to hear about them. Where-ever you are, and whatever you do this week, be generous and loving, share Christ in word and deed, and seek Christ in the face of those you meet, seeking to serve them in His name.