Tuesday, October 31, 2023

I Wonder--October 31

At some point tonight, pallets of Christmas decorations will finally come out of their hiding. Shrink wrap will be cut away and boxes opened. Any last vestiges of Halloween candy, costumes, and decoration will go on clearance; room must be made for Christmas. 

Now I am one who loves Christmas and the joy that comes with the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. But I wonder. . . have we not forgotten something? 

And no, I don't mean Thanksgiving (which is also important). By rushing past Halloween, and headlong into Christmas, perhaps we are missing what All Hallows Eve truly means. It is not about unlimited amounts of sugary candy and it is also not about haunted houses or smashing pumpkins on the street. That is what the culture has taught us. Instead, All Hallow's Eve (better known as Halloween) literally means "the day before All Saints Day"--which is November 1st. 

All Saints Day celebrates the lives of the saints of Jesus' church. It celebrates the known, and the unknown, those who served the Lord faithfully before entering into the Resurrection. November 1st is a time of memory and reflection. It is a time where the church comes together reflectively and considers the faithful of every time and place who served the Lord. 

On All Saints Day I will call to mind members of my family who have returned to be with God. I will remember the lessons that they taught me about faith.  I will choose to remember. . . 

I will remember the church my grandparent's, Len and Carol, helped found in Cleveland and how I can still see grandpa's labelling in every church cabinet. I will remember singing around my grandmother's piano--sometimes in tune with her (often not) from her red hymnal. 

I will remember my father teaching me about the importance of church attendance and how my faith would grow if I listened. I will remember the Bible that he bought for JonMark when my son was first born. He told me to give it to him when JonMark was ready. 

I will remember my Nana, Adeline, talking to me about the saints of the Catholic church and how important her little parish in Pennsylvania was to her faith. And I will also remember how she whispered when she came to grandpa Frank's grave as he let him know that she was there and gently pulled the weeds out from around his stone.

There are many others that I will remember. . . and I know it is a practice that the Lord will be with me in.

Tomorrow is the day that we can intentionally remember the saints of our church. As you sneak a Reeses cup tomorrow, I wonder who might you remember? Maybe take some time on All Satins Day to practice remembering and see who God calls to your mind. 

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