This weekend its Halloween, as I’m sure many of you know. Time for dressing up, trick or treating, having parties and watching scary films. To be honest, I’ve never really seen the point in Halloween. I guess, being a church-goer my whole life, its never really meant anything to me.
But then I found out the real meaning of this day.
It’s All Saints Day.
What’s that, I hear you ask. Well, All Saints Day has been celebrated for centuries. Its a day when, essentially, Christians remember all of those who have gone before. Now it would be easy to say its all about those who we would traditionally call ‘saints’ – St Peter, St Paul, and modern ‘official’ saints like the last Pope and Mother Theresa (pictured).
We can understand those people being called saints can’t we?
After the lives they led, what they endured for their faith, the sacrifices they made and devotion to God, they somehow seem to ‘deserve’ that status don’t they?
Well at least, that’s the general understanding of it.
The problem with this understanding is that it implies that somehow God loves and blesses these people more than He does everyone else. That there’s this scale with God, this measure of how worthy you are of His blessing, and that only special people get this blessing.
Its kind of like saying some people are specially qualified for God’s special blessing.
Now I’m not for one minute saying that the people I’ve mentioned aren’t outstanding examples of disciples of Jesus. They are all great role models for us, they have all shaped our faith in one way or another, they show us what is possible and their example challenges us to live a more Christ-like life – or it should. (more…)