We need to be re-formed in God’s presence, not removed FROM His presence. So it is with our holidays. While the reformation rightly removed many saints’ days, several of our holidays need to be reformed, not removed.
The church began to celebrate All Saints Day in the 300s, celebrating the victorious saints at rest with Christ. Over time, superstition and error came in. All Hallow’s Eve turned into Halloween. Like Mardi Gras revelry before Lent’s piety, Halloween became the devil’s last stand before the celebration of the holy ones in glory.
So let’s get the big picture here. Christian calendar year begins Dec 1 with advent and Xmas, when we celebrate the coming of the light of the world at our coldest and darkest hour. We then celebrate His death and resurrection in the spring, the time of new life. We celebrate Pentecost at the beginning of summer, when God cultivates our new life in the Spirit. Summer is the time of growth. Fall is when the harvest comes in, and we have All Saints Day to remember those who have entered their rest, and thanksgiving for the harvest. Meanwhile Satan makes one last grab at the end of history. This is Halloween. All of history is dramatized in the church year, and it is all pointing to the vindication of Christ’s saints, as they appear with Christ, when He comes again. We need to reform and recover All Saints day. Instead of trying to replace it with something different, let us return thanks to God for fruitful saints now at rest with Christ.
10/31/10 - All Saints' Eve