Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews -

This Satur­day will see lots of ghosts and ghouls on our streets – okay peo­ple, mainly chil­dren, dressed up as ghosts and ghouls.

Over the past cou­ple of decades Hal­loween seems to have as­sumed a higher pro­file in Scot­land than had pre­vi­ously been the case.

But where did it come from? Amer­ica might be the short sim­ple an­swer given by some peo­ple, and it is true that the higher pro­file now en­joyed by Hal­loween owes much to tra­di­tions im­ported from across the At­lantic.

How­ever this is far from the whole story.

Doubt­less many read­ers are aware that Hal­loween is a con­trac­tion of All Hal­lows Eve. All Hal­low Day, or All Saints Day, has been cel­e­brated on Novem­ber 1 since 998AD and it cel­e­brates the be­lief

by Chris­tians that for those who die in Christ, death is not the end.

Over the years a tra­di­tion evolved where chil­dren be­gan dress­ing up on All Hal­lows Eve. In Me­dieval Times this was known as “A Danse Macabre” and the in­ten­tion was to mock death.

The Apos­tle Paul does some­thing sim­i­lar in the Bi­ble when he writes “where O death is your sting?”

I don’t know whether or how you will mark Hal­loween. You may wel­come all “trick or treaters” to your door or you may re­tire to the back room hop­ing that ev­ery­one thinks you are out for the evening! How­ever as you see the “ghosts and ghouls” wan­der­ing our streets it is worth giv­ing a thought to the view of the Bi­ble.

This could be sum­marised as “death may be the fi­nal en­emy but it doesn’t have the last word be­cause Je­sus has de­feated it.”

If he was writ­ing for teenagers to­day Paul might al­low us to adapt his words to “In your face death -Je­sus won!” Wil­liam Wil­son: Min­is­ter at Burn­side Blair­beth Church

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