Monday, October 30
Halloween is upon us. Centuries ago Nov. 1 was set aside to honor the saints of the past. The night before became a holy evening—“hallowed eve” or “Halloween.” All Saints Day was followed by All Souls Day, a day to pray for the souls of past saints, particularly those in purgatory. The “trick or treat” tradition also stems from this old religious practice. People dressed up in costumes and re-enacted the spiritual battles of “the underworld.” It was both very graphic and scary. So Halloween today is “child’s play” compared to its origin. I’m OK with that; it was horribly skewed from Biblical truth anyway. But I think it’s proper to honor the saints (all believers, not just the designated “Saints” of the RCC) who have gone before us. Honoring them should remind us of how we should “defend the faith” in our day. Later in November we have Veterans Day to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for truth and freedom in the secular world. This doesn’t just include Generals and Admirals, it includes all servicemen—just as honoring the saints includes not just the Augustines and Luthers, but all those who took a stand for their faith. Let us remember that the battle between Satan and God is far more important than wars among notions—much more important than All Saints Day and All Souls Day and infinitely more important than the frivolous activities of Halloween.