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Halloween or All Hallows Eve: Take Your Pick

October 7, 2012

Today, I would like to reflect once again on the Old versus the New.  This time, holiday style!

For years, I have been troubled by SOME of the Halloween costumes, traditions, and decor.  These things have not sat right with my spirit ever since I was truly transformed and brought to life through my growth in communing with the Holy Spirit.   I still tend to bend my will and take the children trick or treating, and have been known to even let them wear scary face paint or a scary costume, even though I didn’t agree with it.  So please do not think that I am  sitting on some high point, looking down upon anyone…EVER!!  I’m guilty of allowing the ways of this world to overcome my better judgement and convictions, just like everyone else.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before the Word of the Lord was common knowledge, people set aside a special time of the year to honor those who went before them into eternal rest and/celebrated the bounty of the fall harvest.  You will find such celebrations all around the world, such as Dia de los Muertos – Spanish for The Day of the Dead, as well as Samhain, the Celtic’s celebration of the fall harvest.

Later, the Catholics began celebrating All Hallows Eve the last day of October and All Saints Day on the first day of November.  Such celebrations were offered as a Christian response to earlier pagan celebrations, tied together by a common theme, the fall harvest and honoring the dead.

Today, as I entered the nursing home to join in ministry there, my fellow servants of Christ and I were disturbed by some of the gory and dark decorations that lined the walls.  It didn’t feel as festive as much as it felt evil.  There was a dark angel glaring at me from one corner of the room and I just couldn’t help but to want to put a big smiley faced pumpkin over her creepy face!!

These decorations brought up thoughts of happier times and one of our elder leaders shared her thoughts on the subject of Halloween.  I was in complete agreeance with her!  When exactly did such light-hearted and honorable celebrations grow into such horrific beasts?  I am not here today to give you an exact date, but to instead, direct your attention to our past, as a way to encourage each of you to consider a purer Holy Day.

We celebrate the harvest of the fall crops because we are grateful for it’s providence through the winter.  We honor our dead because they lead the way to righteousness through their faith in Jesus and their hard labor while on earth!  I mean think about it!  Look how far civilization has come in just 200 years…even 50 years!  It is due to the inspiration and ingenuity of those who came before us that we live so comfortably today!

But where there is progress, it would seem we also regress!!  With all the ease and comfortable living today, people have forgotten the One who made life possible for all!  Who needs God when you’ve got fast food, air conditioner and heat, amazing medical procedures, and nail salons on every corner?!  We do!!!  But in our great abundance, we forget to be thankful.  At Thanksgiving, the women are already planning their methodical strikes on the many Black Friday sales and the men are all stoked about the next big football game.

Their Thanksgiving prayers are ritualistic, without meaning, and rushed in order to stuff their faces with the bounty of the harvest.  It’s easy to forget about the farmers when all we have to do is go down to one of the local grocers and load our carts up to the brim!  It is a rare family that toils in the fields in order to provide their own Thanksgiving meals!  But I digress…I must stay on the subject at hand-Halloween.

Halloween has become quite the commercial hubbub!  Reminders of the mid-fall holiday begin in August while families are still having fun in the sun!  Candy fills one aisle and costumes the next.  It’s an assault to our senses when we first see orange and black plaster the aisles and …well just what, exactly, does all that candy and faire have to do with Saints and Harvests anyways?

There is a Harvest to consider this Halloween.  It is a harvest of wheat, over-taken by weeds.  The Great Farmer in the sky will soon take and bundle up all the weeds and toss them into a fire that burns eternally, and He will then Harvest the wheat!  If you have a yard, then you know how weeds can overtake the beautiful grass!  Weeds seem not only to multiply quickly, but they also grow taller, faster.  It can be quite embarassing, really!

Where do you find yourself today?  Are you the useful wheat, standing your ground in the field of life, nourishing those around you,awaiting the harvest, or are you a pesky weed, a nuisance, a troublesome burden; thriving on the ways of the world?  Is there a noticeable difference??  How can you tell?

I would like to encourage each of you, including myself, to really meditate on how we should celebrate October 31st.  Should we celebrate the dark images, the glorification of fear and the gratification of the sweet tooth, or should we honor the Lord for the food He provides us through the winter and honor those who have passed on before us?  I pray this be food for thought as we enter the holiday season with gladness!

Vaya con Dios!


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