As it happens for all holidays, Halloween is marked by the annual parade of Quixotic, read-a-book, historians telling innocent bystanders that the holiday was originally pagan. Of course, this brings out another parade of social media athletes heroically combatting these claims in their parent’s basement. It’s like Gangs of New York without Daniel Day-Lewis and all the weapons are Nerf.
While the best and seemingly boring answer is, “Who cares?!”
Make no mistake, all cultures, religions, and peoples need to do something with their dead. So we see some lighting the mood by making fun of death, others teaching that death is just a part of life, others pushing the pain of loss deep down in their subconsciouses, or keeping it in funeral homes and other anesthetic tombs.
So be kind to those who yearn to put death away. We all do it. Ever since Eve hung a picture of Abel over her dining room table.
What do you do with your dead?
You bury it with Christ.
You don’t need to pretend it’s ok. You don’t need to put it away only to have it sneak out in your nightmares. You don’t need nervously laugh it off. You don’t need to hide it.
You can cry. You can scream. You can be discontent. You don’t have to pretend.
Bury it with Jesus who died only for sinners, only for dying people, and rose again historically, physically, and truly.
Christ is risen.
So we celebrate All Saints day, post-Reformation, by remembering that saints are just sinners disguised by Christ.
Christ has won the victory and gives it to the addict, the adulterer, the thief on the cross, the mourner, the scared and tormented.
He is risen. All who are buried with Him are safe. Where He goes they go.
Bury your children now with Jesus in baptism. Bury your neighbor now with Christ by telling them what has happened for them!
Bury your sins, bury your tears, bury your dying bones, now.
He gladly receives it. And turns it into hope. And you will see it one day with your own resurrected eyes.
Then there will be no more disguises, funerals, or Halloweens.