It is almost Halloween. I am reading that many of our churches are planning outreach to the community by way of a "Trunk or Treat" or other other similiar event. What a great tool for ministry this is! How grateful I am to those who are seeking ways to reach the community where they are at and not where we think they should be. I really miss being a part of such ministry events, and I miss watching the faces of children and their parents as they particpate.
I also miss that we have almost all forgotten that All Hallow's Eve leads us to the day called All Saints. Yes, I know that many of you will call forth the names of the saints who have entered into the Church Triumphant this year during worship on the Sunday following All Saints. This is a powerful and moving time, but surely there is more we can do to lift up the power of such a day.
We spend so much time and energy with the community for Halloween; what can we do to help the community celebrate the life of the saints and to help them see that we are all saints as the hymn states? How might we bring life to this celebration beyond the church walls? How might we encourage all people to live or seek to live as the saints they are?
I wish I were more creative and could design such a time and event for the public around the church and around life.
When I was a pastor in McDonough, the local Funeral Home invited me to share with all the families of those who lost a loved one during the year at the holiday time. They provided a service of rememberance along with a time of fellowship. This was powerful because, regardless of the faith or of the lack of faith, loved ones were remembered and grieving individuals were not forgotten in the pain of this first holiday season. Could we do something like this with our friends and cohorts at our local funeral homes for All Saints? I'm just thinking.
How can we help people see the potential that is theirs as saints in the every day? If we can sweeten them up with candy, can we not also find a way to build them up with the faith that Christ has in them?
Ministry is a never-ending task, and you and I are called to continue finding ways to bring the love and power of Christ to all people at all times. I am here for you, and I am hoping to help you in this task. Let's think together and see what we can do for Jesus' sake.
People not knowing of the love God has for them or of their potential in Christ is a scary and frightening thing, for sure.