All Hallow’s Eve and The Day of All Saints

Yesterday was Halloween, of course, and I had forgotten how much fun it is. It sort of surprises me like that every year, because I’ve never been a big costume person and I think I’ve only been to one or two Halloween parties in my lifetime. But Trick or Treat night is a whole lot of fun.

It was a warm night here in Colorado, and in fact the weather was perfect for little goblins in costumes. Starting about 5:30, we had a parade of princesses, warlocks, skeletons, and other assorted costumed kids coming up the front walk. In fact, we think we probably had about 100 trick-or-treaters in all, considering how many treats we went through.

My daughter who works in school nutrition led the selection process for the treats at our house. She picked popcorn, so we gave out little bags of white cheddar and kettle corn (pre-packaged, of course). We also had some chocolate left from a bag that I bought too early. That’s advice to me never to try to get ahead of the curve on Halloween candy; it always gets eaten and most especially by me. I teased her about the popcorn and wondered if that would get our house egged, but all the kids seemed to think it was a great departure from the other sugar-laden stuff in their bags. All in all, a successful Halloween if ever there was one.

Today is actually a favorite day of mine as well. Nowadays, it’s just a footnote on the church calendar but in the past, All Saints Day was really important. You see, it’s the day when we celebrate the whole community of believers, every last one, including everyone who has passed away before us. It is a nice time to reflect on the history of the faith and feel connected to others.

There’s not enough of that today, I think. Particularly in the Christian faith but probably in others as well, we focus on divisions and differences. We split hairs on theological interpretation and we look for things to fight about. In the end, what benefits all of humankind is if we can stay focused on understanding our commonalities, sharing a positive spirit with others whether they believe in the same things we do or not.

It’s a message we need to hear, especially right now when all you hear in the airwaves is divisiveness and political ranting.

So today, my friends, whether you’re a believer or not, look for ways to connect to people around you. Listen to them and try to understand who they are. Find commonalities and ways to connect without looking for differences or divisions. And remember those who went before us. After all, it’s only a matter of time before someone will be remembering us as well.

“All of the places of our lives are sanctuaries; some of them just happen to have steeples. And all of the people in our lives are saints; it is just that some of them have day jobs and most will never have feast days named for them.”

— Robert Benson in Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

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