'Maybe it will cause us as people to pause and give thanks to God for what we have. We can ask not just for what God can do for us but for what we can do to make this world a better place for all God's people.' ~Nuala O'Loan
Last night was Halloween and today (Nov 1st) on the Christian calendar is All Saints Day. The origins of Halloween go right back to our Celtic ancestors who celebrated the feast of Samhain on Nov 1st. They celebrated the new year on this day because it was a time of transition from light to darkness. They also believed that the boundary between the living world and that of the dead was very thin, so much so that the spirits of the dead returned.
Some say Halloween is silly nonsense, a commercial opportunity and a waste of money. But Halloween has a lot to offer. Children love it and always will. Despite trick and treat not happening this year, there will still be lots of fun and games at home for everyone. The old traditional game of snap apple will surely make a comeback!
For adults it brings back childhood memories of our Halloween. But it also puts us in touch with the mystery of life and a time for us to reflect on deeper stuff that we may not always give time to. We of course know so well that some things in life are often clouded in darkness. It put us in touch with our own struggle between light and darkness and the struggle between good and evil.
Halloween may have pagan origins but the Christian message is wrapped around it. It's a simple Halloween message that God is near and close to us even when it seems that darkness is overpowering. We are invited to take down our Halloween masks and not to hide the beautiful person that is you. We are invited to begin to believe in our light and goodness. We can't stop darkness but as believers we always will continue to believe that light, hope, goodness and kindness bring the balance back in. We especially need it this weekend and this Halloween.