“See, the home of God is among mortals… God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more.” - Revelation 21:3a-4
At least on my block, All Saints Day is overshadowed by Halloween. That irritates some people, so they take it out on Halloween, calling it a “wicked holiday” that should be scorned by the church.
The anti-Halloween crowd would not like the Haunted Halls Halloween event we just had at church, but it was all about the kids. By which I mean that the kids gave the adults the excuse to run screaming around the church in ridiculous costumes, to set up strobe lights and rubber snakes in the nursery, to put a scary mannequin and a dry ice machine in the toilet. The adults did all this while the children calmly painted pumpkins, perhaps wondering if the grown-ups would ever grow up.
Maybe I just like candy and costumes too much, but I’ve never felt a disconnect between Halloween and All Saints Day. Halloween was once All Hallow’s Eve—not a competing event, but the evening vigil that prepared the saints on earth to remember the saints who had gone ahead.
It’s natural to spend that night considering death and all that is scary. It’s beautiful to spend the next day pondering the greater truth: One day God will wipe every tear from our grieving eyes, add us to the mighty cloud of witnesses, and wrap us in the love that knows no end.
For all the saints who from their labors rest, we pray. Amen.
Lillian Daniel's new book Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don't Belong To: Spirituality without Stereotypes, Religion without Ranting is now available for purchase, but you can hear it all for free at 1st Congregational Church of Dubuque, Iowa.