“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'”Matthew 16:24-25
[This article about Halloween is written by a dear friend, Linda DeSilva, who turned 90 a few months back. Every week she produces a meditation for her home church that is published in the Royal Gazette, Bermuda. I am taking the liberty of reproducing it and count it a privilege to know her and the faithfulness with which she, and her husband Frank, (at home with the Lord) have stood by our ministry over many, many years.]
make holy or consecrate; honour as holy” (Concise Oxford
Dictionary) in practice, however, T.V. shows and the printed media
feature Halloween happenings that trivialize terror, glorify the
ghostly, sanitize the satanic and delight in the demonic! Hardly a
Halloween is seen today as a harmless occasion for children and adults to indulge their fantasies in costumes humorous or scary. Its roots, however, are quite sinister. The Druids had a pagan religious festival, Samhain, observed at harvest to mark the Celtic New Year. On this one night the spirits of the dead were able to move freely upon human beings.
Christianity was brought to the Celtic peoples in the seventh century, and in 835 AD Pope Gregory IV moved the “Feast of All Saints” (which honours deceased believers) from spring to November 1st, to replace the observance of Samhain. The sacred vigil in Church the evening before became known as “All Hallows Eve” (or Halloween). The old practices of the Druids still persisted, however, and the Church denounced them as witchcraft – hence Halloween became known as a witch’s holiday.
This Thursday’s Halloween celebrations, with the familiar cry of “Trick or Treat” will seem harmless enough, but they make occult themes and witchcraft fun acceptable. However, Satan is not a joke. He defied God, but was defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead. The final doom of Satan and his army is described in Revelation 20:7 – 10. We should not celebrate the ungodly dead or evil spirits at Halloween. Scripture warns us against a preoccupation with death and the occult.
All Saints Day, November 1st , commemorates Christian saints and martyrs throughout the ages, including this 21st Century. Over the world, Christian men are martyred, leaving widows and children. We should honour them, and support the organizations that help the survivors.
Jesus said: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must … shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.” (See Matthew 16: 24 & 25 NLT.)