It is thought that Halloween started out as a pagan, Celtic holiday. The Celts of Ireland celebrated October 31 as the official end of summer. This pagan holiday got tied to a Christian holy day (All Saints’ Day – November 1). All Saint’s Day (or, All Hallow’s Day) is November 1. It is a day to remember those good souls who died in the faith. Halloween (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Eve”) is the evening before All Saint’s Day.
Some of our Christian brothers and sisters have forgotten this bit of history. They’ve forgotten that the original intent of the day’s traditions was to scare away evil spirits. They think that, because children (and adults!) dress up like witches and ghosts and demons, the holiday is really paying homage to witchcraft and sorcery and Satan.
I don’t think anybody is seriously trying to honor Satan and evil by dressing up and going to a party or door-to-door to get some candy. Just as God isn’t honored by empty worship, neither is Satan supported by impish appearances. I think Halloween is harmless. I don’t think Satan gains many disciples through costume parties and trick-or-treat.
Put your fears behind you this Halloween. Carve a jack o’ lantern, wear a mask, bob for apples. Give out some candy and have some yourself. Then take time on November 1 to recall some of the believers and saints that have enlarged our faith across the years. They are all around us if we but stop to look.
See you in church.