The Pastor's Peace - October, 2009
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The leaves are starting to change, the weather is starting to cool down, and I'm sure every store you have been to has started displaying items for Halloween. Hopefully they have not yet started advertising for Christmas, but I will save my rant on that for another time. Halloween, what a holiday it is, with different people having different views about the detriment or betterment to society that it provides. When it is even celebrated seems to be in question, as Amelia and I found out upon moving to Dayton. We were completely unprepared for "Beggar's Night" and found it quite odd to have no one knock on our door during All Hallows' Eve.

So what is this strange and scary holiday and should we as "Christians" be for or against such a display of ghouls and goblins? Now whether you are for or against Halloween probably depends upon many things other than your religious beliefs. If you don't like children, candy, and the possibility of having your trees covered in toilet paper, then you probably don't appreciate this holiday, no matter what I say. If you do, however, like the candy, the jack-o-lanterns, the costumes, apple cider, and other fun family aspects, then fear not; your faith in Christ is not in conflict with the 31st. In fact, the celebration of Halloween is very much a part of the Christian calendar.
Halloween occurs the day before All Saints' Day. This is an important Christian holiday that has been celebrated in the Western Church on November 1st since about the 9th century. In Ireland there was also a holiday called Samhain that celebrated the changing of seasons and the last harvest. These two celebrations were tied together and hence the name Halloween was born, from All Hallows' Eve, from the Old English phrase which meant "all saints' evening." What was important about All Hallows' Eve, and All Saints' Day is that they were times when we remembered and connected with those who have died. In fact the Day of the Dead, or All Souls' Day, is celebrated on November 2nd in Mexico and many Latin American countries. So this Halloween or All Souls Day, if you prefer November 2nd, try not to think of scary things, but rather think of all those you love who have gone before us to our Lord. This is a special time of year where we go from life to death, from Summer harvest, to Winter desolation. Death can be a scary thing, but our faith in Christ reassures us that there will be a Spring after Winter, the cross is not the end, for Christ or anyone else. Remember this, have hope, remember your departed loved ones, and remember, don't toilet paper my trees.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian