Most of us know of Halloween being the day before “All Saints Day.” (See John’s blog for a nice little history lesson!) Sidebar: By the way, if you haven’t heard John’s act, you need to!! He did an awesome job for us at Blowout! He really connects with people . . . and is a great magician. You can see his act tonight at South Gate Baptist Church in Springfield.
Besides being Halloween, October 31st is Reformation Day–the anniversary of Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, nailing his “95 Theses” to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany. It was common in that day that the Church doors would be a place of public notice, much like our modern day bulletin boards. This public display began a debate of doctrine–specifically the Roman Catholic practice of indulgences, the granting of penance of sin. Luther’s argument was that the church had gone away from the central idea of Christianity of justification–God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous–by “Faith Alone,” not by anything any human can do. This act began what is now called the Protestant Reformation and a breaking away from the Roman Catholic church.
All this talk about Halloween being a terrible thing is funny. I really think it is a great opportunity to reach out to be a good neighbor. Here is a good perspective about Halloween I read today:
This year we?re doing something else. We?ve invited all of the neighbors over for dinner before the festivities begin. We?ve got at least 40 or 50 people who are planning on coming by for a barbeque. We?re doing this simply because we enjoy our neighbors and love to spend time with them. Halloween evening can be hectic, with parents getting home from work and then rushing to prepare their children, so we thought we?d attempt to relieve one burden by taking care of dinner for everyone. It should be fun and we?re looking forward to it.
My encouragement to you today is to think and pray about this issue so that you can do what your conscience dictates for that day. I do not see Halloween as a great evangelistic occasion and this is where some of my thought on the issue has probably developed most. In the past I may have tried to convince myself that Halloween would offer occasions to share the gospel, but I don?t think this is usually the case. Nor does it have to be. I think Halloween is a time that you can prove to your neighbors that you care about them, that you care about their children, and that you are glad to be in this world and this culture, even if you are not of this world or this culture. Aileen and I feel that God has deliberately placed us here and among these people. We want to celebrate with them, even on an occasion of such dubious importance as Halloween.
Have a Great Halloween . . . and Reformation Day!!