Tonight is the eve of All Saints Day, the festival in the Church that recalls the faith and witness of the men and women who have come before us. Tonight some churches will celebrate our continuing communion with them, and memorializes the recently deceased. The early church followed the Jewish custom that a new day began at sundown; thus, feasts and festivals in the church were observed beginning on the night before. The night before All Saints (or All Hallows) became known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.
I am not a real Halloween person. Halloween is not my favorite holiday. As a Pastor, I know Easter is supposed to be my favorite holiday, but I confess that it is hard to beat Christmas in my book.
Having said this, I just can’t get worked up like a lot of Christians I know about Halloween. When our kids were small they liked to dress up in costumes and carve the pumpkin and eat lots of candy. Now they are all young adults, two of them college students. Now that they are older they like to dress up in costumes, carve the pumpkin and eat lots of candy (how about that!) We all still enjoy a good Easter Egg hunt as well, but that is another story.
I know some use this day to celebrate things that are depraved, deranged and evil. I can’t help what others do. But, I can choose to use this day as an opportunity to remember my mortality, to celebrate the lives of the Saints who have gone on before me and to pass out candy to some little kids who are very proud of their costumes.
So have fun today. Dress up. Give away some treats. Eat some candy. Scare someone. Enjoy the creativity of the children and their costumes. Sometimes the most “Christian” thing we can do is “Lighten Up” and smile.