October 28, 2012
Since our local newspaper posted my thoughts on Halloween in Saturday’s paper, I thought I’d put it on the interwebs for those of you who don’t use those “dead tree” products or if you don’t read the local paper. (By the way, the paper did have one small mistake. I’m technically not an elder in the United Methodist Church. I’m a provisional elder. There’s a bit of difference and our process is a bit long and complicated so I won’t get into it right now.)
Hopefully this will answer your questions about Halloween. <insert spooky music>
In good Christian tradition, I will answer questions about Halloween by asking this question “Why aren’t more Christians celebrating All Hallows Eve?” Christians believe in the Lord Jesus, who overcame death and grants us eternal life, so it would be negligent not to remember Him at this time of year. When Christians see emblems of death, hell and the grave during All Hallows (Holy) Eve they are to be reminded they know the Lord who, by His death and resurrection, has crushed them all with his mighty feet.
My denomination doesn’t have an official stance on Halloween so I’m answering this as a geek and a preacher. You may find it interesting that I see Fall Festivals to be a re-imaging and de-Christianizing of this time of year! For so long, Christians have rightly been accused of co-opting ancient festivals and using them to tell the Christian story. (Just look at Christmas and Easter.) This is what has happened with All Hallows Eve. Christians took an ancient holiday about their cultures “lord of the dead” (Samhain) and re-imaged it for the glory of their faith. This is how human beings use the language of symbols and images to continually repurpose their stories to express the greater mystery of God in their lives. So, Happy Halloween!
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