For weeks now the shops have been filled with all the trappings of Halloween. For us, it’s about the only time of year we can get our chickens’ favourite treat – pumpkins. But for many other people, it seems an excuse to get in touch with the dark side of their imagination. And while some people may claim it is only a harmless piece of fun, the danger is, that all these undead characters being so shamelessly promoted become all a little too real. Without being too dramatic, Halloween does force us – whether we like it or not – to confront the fact we are in a spiritual battle.
The tragedy is, that Halloween was originally a Christian festival. It was the eve of a great festival that has almost been completely lost in today’s world, All Saints Day. All Saints was, and remains, an opportunity to remember those who have gone before us and celebrate their example of faith. Not to venerate them, or, heaven forbid, pray to them, but to learn how to follow Jesus Christ our whole life long even in the face of persecution, adversity and death.
So this Sunday while the rest of world are putting away their Halloween costumes, we are going to be looking at the solid, real hope that is ours in Jesus Christ, the hope that inspired the saints of old, and which should inspire us today. We will be looking at that great passage of hope from 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, verses 13-18. It should be a very suitable opportunity to invite those you know who are at this time are struggling with issues of loss and bereavement.
Let’s show there is a positive alternative in what so often seems to be a dark and confused world, that we do not have to retreat into the fantasy of Halloween because we have light of Jesus Christ.
See you on Sunday!