Ghosts and Ghouls, Saints and Souls
It is the end of October and Halloween is around the corner. Halloween brings a lot of discussion within the greater church. Some believe it to be nothing more than a fun day for kids (and adults) to dress up and trick or treat while others think it is a portal to Hell itself.
Personally, I’m more concerned with the real evils present in the world than plastic skeletons and children with sheets on their heads saying “boo.” After all, Paul does say “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12)” and we see far too much evil on a daily basis.
Halloween actually has its roots in early Christianity. The word actually means “All Hallows Eve” as it is the day before All Saints Day. The early church honored those who have died, especially a martyr’s death by remembering their “death” day as the day they entered into the Heavenly Kingdom. But when persecutions began under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the church selected one day to honor these saints.
But who are the saints? All who believe in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:11-13 says; “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” All throughout scripture the saints are those who believe in God.
But then scripture also says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) and continually mentions those great saints who have gone before. It is good and right to honor those (not worship them, but honor them) for they are not truly gone but in the presence of Almighty God.
On Friday (or Sunday when we will observe All Saints Day at the church), take a moment to think about a departed loved one and give God thanks and praise for their life.