Halloween, Reformation, All Saints Day

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Wilhelm Ferdinand Pauwels

Full disclosure: Seven years ago in the Nov. 1, 2012 Volume IV Number 9 Perspectives article, I began with these words, slightly updated to fit this year’s calendar:

Today is October 31, observed in our country as Halloween. In recent years I’ve become increasingly concerned with the growing focus on macabre manifestations and excessive expressions of spiritual darkness associated with Halloween.

My concern is that most celebrations of Halloween do not recognize what St. Paul said centuries ago: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)

Thankfully, October 31 is also observed by many Christians throughout the world as the Festival of the Reformation. Catalyzed by Martin Luther’s struggle with his personal faith and escalated by the Roman Catholic Church’s emphasis on salvation by works and purchase of indulgences, the Reformation claims October 31, 1517, as its date of origination. That’s the day Luther posted his 95 Theses against indulgences on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Certainly not to be forgotten, November 1 is All Saints Day—an opportunity to give thanks to God for all believers in Christ who have gone on before us to an eternity of life in the presence of God himself. Our family, like yours, remembers those saints in whose footsteps we follow and with whom we will be reunited someday in heaven.

Those truths remain and my observations have not changed. On the contrary, my perspectives regarding these three days have intensified:

  • The Reformation blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation are gifts of God’s grace.
  • Halloween observances need to become less pagan in character and costume.
  • All Saints Day is an opportunity to remember loved ones who await our heavenly arrival.

Happy Reformation, Halloween, and All Saints Day! Observe them all, safely and reflectively, with joy and thankfulness in your heart!

Special Events

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Today’s article could be titled something like: “Reformation, Halloween, All Saints, Mission of Christ Network, Mid-term National Elections, Zion Lutheran Church Walburg Wurstbraten, Legacy Deo Board of Directors, and Legacy Deo Sunday.” There are undoubtedly other special events this week but this list will suffice. I’ll simply call all those listed above “Special Events.”

Much could be said about each of these events and activities. They mean many things to many people. Some are related to Christian mission and ministry organizational operations. Others are fund raisers for charitable causes. Still others are related to civic or governmental entities and offices. Terry and/or I are involved in all of them. I imagine you have your own list as well.

At times I’m inclined to think that if I were to decide not to participate in any or all of these and the numerous other events and activities on my calendar, no one would miss my presence or involvement. Then I realize that if everyone felt that way, no one would show up or participate. Then the worthy causes would not be supported and their objectives would not be accomplished.

Would that be eternally consequential? Perhaps not on the surface. But digging a little deeper produces a reminder that all charitable or governmental causes should be designed to benefit the lives of people. The people who participate feel a sense of fulfillment at having done something meaningful for someone else. The people who benefit from the events in question are blessed in numerous ways, including physically, spiritually, emotionally, and eternally.

So during these days of significant festivals and endeavors, I hope you join me in thanking God for the opportunity to be involved in special events and worthy causes. And join me also in thanking God that those who benefit from these organizations and endeavors will be blessed by such special events and the people whose time and effort make them happen.