Today is All Saints’ Day. It is not Halloween. There is a difference. First, of all Halloween is a thing of the past. It is so yesterday. It is a time set aside for ghosts and goblins and things that go “boo” in the night. Sure, when there is no virus, kids love it, as there is candy galore. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a party-pooper. But I do hold dearly the church calendar.
There is a rhyme and a reason that moves the spirit and shapes our soul throughout the year. There is a reason All Saints’ follows Halloween. We are a people who listen intently to the words of Jesus who says, “I go and prepare a place for you. I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Well? Do you believe this? By saying “yes” to this question, we take off our costumes from the night before, and we remove what has covered us from yesterday. By answering “yes” to the belief we will never die, is not a denial of death of our mortal, human bodies. It is rather that we affirm life after death, and we uncover our life with God, a life that is an everlasting life, and a life that now has an eternal destiny.
November 1. All Saints’ is our day. Above is an icon of Saints Peter and Paul. I wrote a book on St. Peter and emphasized the importance of his having a vision for life. Peter’s vison is “Vivatis in Christo,” May you live in Christ. It was his way, now our way of being called, day in and day out, to a life that really is life found in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is where life originates along with the many gifts God provides with his love, hope, peace, joy, faith. These gifts and more keep coming from above.
To say these gifts come from above puts it mildly. Above is a word that simply means “big.” These gifts are big and they come to us from God and as a result are never ending. Peter is holding keys, keys to the very kingdom of God.
I also have a book on Saint Paul that will be released December 1. It is a book on renewal. Renewal is not about “reinventing yourself.” No, when we walk with Paul on his mission, we find our mission. When Paul speaks of grace, we hear grace. When he is converted, we leave our old self behind with all the trick or treats. The new self is not a new version of an old self but a centered-self in Christ. And, the sword Paul carries is a reminder of the armor of God, the sword of the spirit which protects us in our spiritual warfare today.
Join the celebration. Take off the Halloween costumes. We are made in the image of God so sing “a song of the saints of God and God helping, I mean to be one too.”