by Rev. Wendy Downing
Two imortant dates for the year are upon us. All Hallow's Eve, and All Saint's Day. All Hallow's Eve has eventually become known as Halloween and got started as an excuse for the ghouls and goblins to celebrate before the Church's celebration of the Saints the next day. In a way, we celebate All Saint's Day on Halloween, for we dress up in funny clothes and make fun of the ghouls and goblins and the things that go "bump in the night." Instead of hiding in our homes in fear of Halloween, we dress up like the very things that are supposed to scare us and laugh in the face of those things that are supposed to be evil -- they are given no power over us!
In another way, we celebrate All Saint's Day on Halloween because more, and more, chlden are refusing to dress up to symbolize witches and goblins, but instead, they are dressing up like their favorte cartoon characters and TV heroes! We may not be dressing like the Saints of the Church, but children do have their heroes and they are copying them in dress and behavior on Halloween.
It may seem like a small glimmer of hope after all the horrible things we have heard about Halloween and the pranks that get played, and the "bad" candy that is given out by some, but it makes me feel that deep down, we really do want the good to shine through when children prefer to dress as heroes, and when we can make fun of evil on nights like Halloween. Most children see Halloween as a time to receive gifts of candy from stangers, but they are also recevng a gift in the form of a lesson -- that evil can be laughed about and that the good is a much stonger force in our lives if we will just let it shine through. Through God's love, we can overcome any kind of evil -- even that which lurks within. Thanks be to God.
Reprinted with permission from the Presbyterian Church in Fisk, Missouri.
"The Herald". Vol 6, No. 7 October, 1997