[All Saints Day, November 1, is the day which the Church has designated to honor all the saints, known and unknown. We can thank Pope Saint Boniface IV (c.550 – May, 25 615) for instituting this day. The eve of All Saints Day is All Hollows Eve, commonly known as Halloween. In honor of the holy saints of God, here is a prayer from the 10th Century, author unknown.]
How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honour and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world’s power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.
David Regier has a fabulous post on the importance of kids dedicating a portion of the Halloween spoils to their fathers – From the book of Davidicus: When you eat of the spoils.
4 Of the Reese’s®, you shall devote them all, likewise the Snickers®. But take heed, lest you try to test your father and give him Skittles® instead of M&Ms®, and thereby incur his disfavor.
5 Of the Pixi Stix®, and the Sweet Tarts®, and the Kandy Korn®, you shall give him no part, for they are an abomination unto him. But of the Nestle Crunch® and Krackel®, you shall give him a portion, as a peace offering.
To this I can only say a hearty “amen.”
Make sure you read the rest of it if you’re looking for some post-Halloween entertainment.
There perennially difficult question of what exactly and “evangelical” is finally receives a definitive answer from Russell Moore, Evangelical Definition and Halloween. (The emerging evangelical one is my favorite.)
An evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for Halloween.
A conservative evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for the church’s “Fall Festival.”
A confessional evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up for “Reformation Day.”
An emerging evangelical is a fundamentalist who has no kids, but who dresses up for Halloween anyway.
A revivalist evangelical is a fundamentalist whose kids dress up as demons for the church’s “Judgment House” community evangelism outreach.
A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist whose kids hand out gospel tracts to all those mentioned above.
Some interesting links from over the weekend:
- Richard Beck writes in defense of Halloween, arguing that it’s a time of remembering or own frailty and fears.
Psychologically, I think Halloween performs two important functions. First, Halloween allows us to collectively process our eventual death and mortality….Second, Halloween allows us to work through our fears of the uncanny, the things that go bump in the night.
- Similarly, Patheos is hosting an interesting series addressing the question, Are demons real?
In this season of haunted houses and horror movies, we couldn’t imagine a better time to grapple with the subject of demons. In the Christian traditions, demons take center stage in numerous biblical stories and continue to chill us today as central characters in popular and religious culture. But do they really exist outside of our imaginations and nightmares? Are demons real, today?
- Bryan Lilly argues in favor of a more profound materialism, offering four reasons that Christians should value the human body: (1) creation; (2) incarnation; (3) the sacraments; and (4) the resurrection.
Evangelicalism has teetered between a compete disregard for the body…, and a gnostic-inspired view that sees the material world, including our bodies, as something we would be better off without.
As Carnell wrote: “Fundamentalism is a lonely position. It has cut itself off from the general stream of culture, philosophy and ecclesiastical tradition. This accounts, in part, for its robust pride. Since it is no longer in union with the wisdom of the ages, it has no standard by which to judge its own religious pretense.”
- Daniel Kirk argues that although we usually focus on our need to be more like God, what we really need is to become more human.
Humanness is not an opponent in the story of attaining to God’s purposes for us, humanness is the goal of the story, and Jesus is the helper sent to take us there.
- And, Justin Taylor is giving away 20 copies of Kelly Kapic’s God So Loved, He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity.