Thursday, November 1, 2012

Celebrating with all the saints

This coming Sunday we gather to celebrate All Saints’ Sunday

Of course the celebrations began last night on All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween)….

Last night as we returned home from some “reverse trick-or-treating” – visiting our neighbors with some gifts of candy and candles – some friends bid us goodnight, with the words celebrating with all the saints who are to come. 

Celebrating the feast of All Saints, we remember those who have come before us; we celebrate with those among us; we give thanks for those far away who are yet in the company of Christ with us: let us also think with joy of those believers whose lives and witnesses are yet in the future, but already in God’s eye our fellow saints. What a gift! We are part of this great company, past and present, anticipating a future with hope.

Tonight, like others, you may choose to remember the saints who have gone before us, in prayer, perhaps lighting a candle to remind you of their presence with the Lord.

The people of St. Hilda – St. Patrick Church are gathering tonight at 6:30 for an All Saints service, grieving the loss of their pastor Cynthia’s husband. Bob Espeseth was killed last Sunday in a traffic accident in Portland. Please keep them in your prayers. Bishop Rickel has announced that the Celebration of the Life of Bob Espeseth will be held Saturday, November 17th, at 11 a.m. at St. Mark's Cathedral.

Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Yes! Bishop Shannon Johnston of Virgina wrote:


The most important thing to remember is this: Halloween is the time when Christians proclaim and celebrate the fact that Satan and the occult have no power over us and cannot disrupt our relationship with our Lord and Redeemer, as long as we live faithfully to Christ. We show this by making fun of such pretenders, lampooning them in their face. This is why our costumes and decorations certainly should be witches, devils, and ghosts. In the victory of Christ, Christians are privileged to do this and we must not be timid about it!

Ours is not a fearful faith, cowering from the prospect of falling unawares into Satan’s grasp. In God’s grace and your faithfulness, you are Christ’s own forever. Nothing supersedes that fact. Halloween is therefore one of the boldest Christian witnesses, precisely because of its highly public, graphic, and lampooning nature. Personally, I suspect that those who cannot embrace this are living a fear-driven and even insecure faith. If so, they have bigger problems than the high jinks of Halloween.

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