While walking the dogs before Halloween, I am overwhelmed by the over-the-top decorations from several blocks in my city-neighborhood, revealing a competitive spirit that overshadows Christmas decorating. Some houses have four-story webs with massive spiders suspended and animated—moving up and down or glaring green-light eyes. Others have bones strewn across the yard with head stones and dismembered corpses. (None of these trouble me until I see the skeletons of dogs—creepy!)
Needless to say, walking several times a day over a period of weeks, you begin to wonder what drives such originality and the choices they make. For some, it is fun. Witches thrown against a tree or eight foot air-filled Frankensteins. But, the common theme is to insight fear in the passerby.
Perhaps we enjoy Halloween so much since it allows us to explore what we fear—and we seem to fear what threatens our life, those we love, or what is mysterious.
When we gather on All Saints Day, we will talk about what our Christian faith promises about our deepest fears of life beyond death. On All Saints’ Day we remember those we love who have died, not with anxiety, but with affection. We will look to them as our communion of saints as we gather at the communion table and be nourished to live with courage and greet our neighbors not with fear, but with love.
See you on Sunday, Jo