It is right around the corner, literally. Rebecca and I were on our evening walk and we observed all of the houses that were decorated for Holloween. There are witches and ghosts, ghouls and goblins, spider webs and grave sights. At one house a couple was outside trying to figure a way to drop a ghost out of a tree an comand. The neighborhood is getting into the holiday spirit.
On all hollows eve children will be canvassing the neighborhood in search of treats, begging strangers for candy, in celebration of, and that's the question. What are we celebrating. If decorations are indicators then we are celebrating death, the occult, and fear. If the gifts are an indicator then we are celebrating over indulgence of empty calories. If the cotumes are an indicator then we are totally confused from the cute and adorable to the strange and bizzar.
I could go into the history of Holloween but for most that has nothing to with the day and they couldn't tell you if you asked. For Christians, it is important that we remember Holloween, not celebrate it, but acknowledge the reality it brings to the forefront. The Psalmist identifies the feelings that Holloween promotes.
Psalm 55:4,5 "My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me."
Anguish, terror, fear, trembling, and horror are feelings that our culture glorifies on the day of Holloween. They are the result of evil and dread. They are feelings that sin plants into our soul and the evil one waters and nurtures.
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear" the Apostle said in Romans. Sin breeds fear of judgment, but the fear of the Lord receives grace and mercy. Sin produces destruction, God's love produces salvation. Sin separates and isolates, God's mercy draws us close and provides community. Holloween is the out growth of sin because it's roots are in fear and death. That is why we must remember Holloween.
Holloween reminds of us of the devastation of sin and how the world glories in it. The evil one has us laugh at the cute goblins asking for candy, but in the dark and quiet of their homes the evil lurking in the darkness is not funny.
EIGHT WEEKS! That's right, in eight weeks another celebration occurs that comes as a result of all that Holloween stands for,
John 1, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Christmas is the celebration of the light piercing the darkness. If it were not for Halloween Christmas wouldn't have been necessary. The dark decorations transform into the bright and joyous light of the saviors birth. As abhorrent as evil is the love of God breaks through and rescues us from it consequences.
So, this Hallowen I will be looking ahead, through the darkness, to the glorious light that has broken through. It makes the celebration all the more joyous. I'm just saying.