The Spirit of Hallowe'en
Who are these people all dressed in white? And from where have they come?
I remember when I was growing up you never saw the word
Hallowe'en without the apostrophe between the two E's. That's because, properly speaking, it is a contraction for
Hallows Even, or the evening before All Hallows' Day. Or, as we know it, All Saints' Day. I still insist on writing it this way, often to the perplexity of mystified readers and to the gratitude of readers in the know. The reason for this peculiar habit is because I want to maintain the sense of holiness in both the word and the day.
We need to be reminded that Hallowe'en is a Christian holy day, not some macabre night to celebrate evil. The tradition of dressing in costumes and having fun on Hallowe'en was originally meant to mock the devil, celebrating our Christian freedom from his wicked tyranny. Sadly, it has turned into a mockery of all that is decent, good, and Christian. I am certainly not condemning trick or treating, Hallowe'en parties, or the like.
But we should keep them wholesome (as most Christian folks do, to their credit), and remind ourselves and our children that this is a day to rejoice in our salvation from the devil, his evil angels, and the fallen world.
Some people think that the name for this holy day,
All Saints, means that all people become saints and go to heaven when they die. However,
the gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it! (Matthew 7:13-14).
How do we escape damnation and become a saint, that is, how do we become holy? What do the Scriptures say? We become holy not by our power, but by the Holy Spirit (see Zec. 4:6). We become holy when in one Spirit we are baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12:13). We grow in holiness as we follow the leading of the Spirit, Who makes us holy (Gal 5:25).
If by the Spirit we
put to death the evil deeds of the body, we will live and be holy (Rom. 8:13). If we pray in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18; Jude 20) and love in the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22), we will be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). We will be holy in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pet. 1:15) as temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).
All Saints Day is a day for all of God's holy people; it begins the evening before. May this holiday be truly holy by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we all may pray,
Come, Holy Spirit! Amen.
As Christ's servant in your midst,
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