A Forgotten Day
Halloween is tomorrow. It’s hard to forget.
For the last week parents have been posting proud photos on Facebook of the elaborate costumes they’ve created for their kids . . . and themselves. (Some of them are quite amazing – and this from a guy who’d rather take an ice pick in the eye than put on a costume!)
If you look closely, you can still see the remaining signs of Halloween in the stores as Christmas decorations loom over the bags of candy no one really likes and the few, very boring, remaining costumes.
Today at the Houston airport some of the gate attendants were already dressed.
I wanted to yell, “Hey people, it’s tomorrow, not today!”
(Tomorrow I get to have a root canal! Nope, not joking. Really! The appointment is at 9.)
I’m just NOT a big fan of Halloween.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m good with the candy part . . . especially a KitKat right around 2 PM at the office. . . everyday. (In case you missed that, I repeat - a KitKat bar – in the afternoon.)
I think this aversion has something to do with my childhood. At the age of three I was playfully chased by a clown at the old California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento as my family watched and laughed. (My grandpa spent his career working at the fairgrounds and the clowns all knew us – lucky us, huh?).
Ok . . . so, over the years I’ve decided to give my parents the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they really didn’t understand that my screams were actual terrified cries for rescue. (Yes, you’re right, some therapy along the way would probably have helped too.)
Halloween will be over soon. Have no fear.
But I’m here to tell you about a forgotten day, November 1st, that is way cooler: All Saints’ Day!
It is a day set aside to remember those who have died in the faith and give thanks to God for the blessing that they were in our lives and still are in our hearts – all with the incredible anticipation of seeing them again in Heaven.
God thinks this is amazing.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
He’s the one who made it happen.
Because of His Son’s cross and empty tomb, sins are forgiven and death is defeated.
That means: Heaven isn’t a fantasy for which you get dressed up – it’s a real destination!
Real baptized people believe it, live it, share it, hold on to it, and in time, die confident in it.
It’s the “full package” of faith.
Here’s another cool part: Every time we gather for worship, every time we share the Body and Blood of Jesus, we, the saints on earth, are united with all the saints in heaven. Where else does that happen?
Take a few moments today to remember. (It’s ok to shed a tear, I usually do.) Offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the ones who brought you to the waters of Baptism, who taught God’s Word to you, who modeled worship for you, who lived a faithful life, and with whom you will be reunited in Heaven. Then, thank God for those you are privileged to influence today: your family members, coworkers, students, neighbors, and more. Ask God to make your influence one that will last for eternity too.
See, I told you that this is a cool day.
“For all the saints who from their labors rest . . .”
Happy All Saints’ Day.
Dr. Mike Gibson, PSD President - October 30, 2018