Well, it’s October 31st today. And that day always makes me a little edgy, maybe even a little combative.
It’s not that I’m one of those hopeless Halloween haters. I got five kids. They like trick-or-treating. I did too as a kid. If your kids are going, I guess I wish you wouldn’t dress them up as something overtly evil like a witch or a devil or something. But if they want to dress up like spiderman or cinderella and loot the neighbors for all the candy they can get, well . . . go, God watch over you, and bring me back a Milky-way bar.
But October 31st is the day on which Luther basically started the Lutheran Reformation, and began the process of breaking the back of all sorts of abuses that the church had perpetrated on her people for centuries. And no one notices.
Further, even the word “halloween” is of churchly origin. It’s sort of a ramming together of “All Hallow’s Eve.” A “hallow” is a saint, hence, “All Saint’s Eve,” the eve of All Saints’ Day. I’d guess there’s a lot of folk out there who think they know all about Halloween, but have never even heard of All Saints’ Day. It’s a day for remembering those exemplary people whom God had great use of down through the ages in spreading the good news of the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. And I think both Reformation Day and All Saints’ Day are more important than the feast of the holy sugar-high.
Even the churches get it wrong. There’s a church here in town that does sort of a “Christian haunted house” thing called “Living Hell.” In fact, this year, it’s called “Living Hell: the Resurrection.” Every time I ponder that title, it frys about three circuits in my theological brain. Maybe someday I’ll post my reflections on what I hear goes on in there (I refuse to spend the $5 to go see it myself). Whatever. If you want living hell, go see them. If you want living heaven, probably you better come see us Sunday morning at 10:00am. We’ll even let you in without the $5 cover charge.
So have a blast raiding the ‘hood for goodies. But God grant you also to remember the more important things.
Peace in Christ,