Well, Halloween is done! I stopped by Target this morning just in time to see the last of the Halloween costumes being shoved on to the clearance rack to make space for Christmas trees. But I’m not ready to flip the calendar ahead to the next holiday so quickly.
Did you know the hallow part of Halloween is related to the word hallowed, that antique word we say together each week in the Lord’s Prayer? It’s an old English way of saying honored as holy. In the case of Halloween, we are using a name that is an English hand-me-down, mash-up of All Hallows Eve—or the night before All Saints’ Day.
I’m not saying that Halloween originated as a Christian holiday but the Church has a way of making and redeeming culture so that we honor God and offer him praise for his creation in all situations. All Saints’ Day is November 1 and an important reminder in the Church Year that we are not alone in our faithful pursuit of Christ and his kingdom. All Saints’ Day is a call to celebrate the Church, not as a human institution but as the body of believers who have been called and made holy by Christ.
All Saints’ Day is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone before us. We honor those whom we know were faithful and demonstrated the character of Jesus to the world through their holy lives. At Restoration, we will also celebrate those who are living who have been a faithful example to us as well.
We want everyone to pick someone they would like to honor and bring a simple memento with them on All Saints’ Sunday, November 5. Pick something that you can hang on a board like a small item, picture, or card that isn’t too precious to you since we will display it this week and next. We also would like for a few people to share a testimony about the saint you are honoring. If you have a story to share in the service please let us know.
When you are picking a saint for All Saints’ Sunday, consider choosing someone from the Bible whose story has inspired your faith. This is especially helpful for children who aren’t familiar with many other heroes of the faith yet. Or you can look to the history of the Church for inspiration. We have 2000 years of faithful saints from the leaders of the early Church to modern missionaries who might have be a wonderful example. Think of books that have been meaningful to you or inspiring biographies you have read or seen in movies. And finally, you can look to your own life for the people who have passed away or are still living who have been instrumental in your faith.
I’m excited to see the saints Restoration will honor this Sunday. We will create a rich picture of faithful people from all generations who have loved and served Christ and his Church. And I hope that we will be inspired to live faithful lives by their example and remember that we too are saints called to holiness for the glory of God. In Jesus, our lives are bound together as we live in expectation of the resurrection when we will be reunited with our brothers and sisters who have died. And we will live forever with Christ!