Was your Halloween fun and exciting? Were there lots of fairies, witches, zombies, Disney characters and pirates that came by your house? Or did you turn off your porch light and avoid the whole folderol?
As Christians, we are not opposed to having fun, and, thankfully, we have downplayed the pagan origins of All Hallows’ Eve. Historically, All Hallows’ Eve is a pagan festival that honors the day when the veil between the living and the dead is the most thin. Halloween has, fortunately, become more about fun than fright, second only to Christmas in spending and partying.
However, it cannot be ignored that Halloween in steeped in pagan traditions that the Church does not endorse. The Roman Catholic Church created All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day to combat the influence of evil and ungodly practices. Originally celebrated in May, they were moved to November 1 and 2 to do just that.
The celebration of All Saints’ Day has evolved to celebrate the saints of the Christian church. All Saints’ Day is celebrated in the Methodist church on the first Sunday after November 1st.
Hence, our celebration this coming Sunday. Our Church has been beset by loss and tragedy the past few years. It is the natural order of things that death comes to all, but it is difficult to bear at any age or season of life. If we did not honor those who have gone before, we have no future to which we can attach our faith.
The definition of saint is “a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and typically regarded as being in Heaven after death”. We will be honoring far too many of these people from our congregation this week. As we approach this day, we must remember them with love and care as the loss is fresh and difficult to bear.
It is stated in Hebrews that we are surrounded by a mighty cloud of witnesses. As we honor these from our congregation who have entered Heaven this year, let us remember that we have a legacy to fulfill. As we reflect on the names that are read and the bell that is tolled, let us honor their memories by continuing forward. We have a call from Christ to spread the Word and continue the work of His Kingdom in whatever way we are able.
In His Love,
Denia Angevine Carter