“Most people don’t know, but Halloween actually has Christian roots. It originally commemorated those who courageously stood for the truth despite persecution and opposition. In the early church, many people suffered and even died for their faith. There were so many of these people—so many stories of courage-- that the church decided to put aside a day, calling it All Saints Day. Originally, it was in May, but in 741 AD, the church moved it to November 1st to counter act the growing popularity of another festival called “Samhain”. This they had done before with both Christmas and Easter. The night before All Saints Day was called, “the eve of the hallowed ones” which changed in time to Halloween. So, the name and the night were originally intended to celebrate heroes of the Christian faith.
Now, over time, various dark imagery and practices have hijacked the celebration. However, I encouraged Riverites then (and I’ll encourage you today) to celebrate neighborliness, generosity, creativity and laughter (some of the costumes are pretty creativity and hilarious!) and most importantly, when death comes to your door dressed up as a 4 year old in a skeleton costume, celebrate the victory we have over death in Jesus!
The pastoral staff has a one day retreat this week on Friday. We’re gathering at “Mosaic East”, our new church plant in the Ottewell area. Please pray for a good day away, as we ourselves spend time in prayer and talk about various issues in relation to The River.
The Foundations Course (new members and baptism course) that I’m teaching on Sunday has such a great variety of people in it. We have people from Africa, Korea, the Caribbean, Ontario, India and Eastern Europe. I love that The River is beginning to reflect the true mosaic of God’s family!