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Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (some versions translate saints as holy ones). Jude 1:3 (NASB)

all saints dayHe came into the church with his wife and daughter to celebrate our community Halloween party. We were a small church in a rural community, eager to reach out to the many children in our area who didn’t attend church. Hoping to offer a safe place for games, fun and, of course, treats.

Since we were a church we encouraged (not required) our kids to dress as their favorite super hero, Bible character or cartoon character. We were willing to risk the fact that some kids (from our church or not) would show up as goblins, witches, vampires, ghosts and a plethora of other ‘Christian no-no’ costumes. Outreach was the key.

As this young man (later found out he was the new pastor in a church down the block) saw the simple ‘traditional’ Halloween decorations our ladies had painstakingly made, he made a comment about how disgusting and evil the setting was and stormed out of the building with his young family in tow!

Now, mind you, I’m not a fan of Halloween. Nor am I wild about horror flicks or anything that portrays death and the spirit world lightly. However, I think that sometimes ‘the Church’ spends more time fighting the negative rather than embellishing the positive.

For the record, Halloween, or Hallowed Eve precluded ‘All Saints Day’ which was a celebration of saints (known and unknown) who had gone before them. Pagan ideas were later added to accentuate the spirit world. The tragedy (in my opinion) is that we’ve focused on the pagan additions to what was once a church celebration and largely ignored the celebration that is to follow.

This year, I propose that once we work through the painful pagan edition of Hallowed Eve, we celebrate those who have gone before us, those men and women of God who have stood strong for their faith, some at the cost of their lives.

I propose we celebrate the unknown saints that tirelessly dedicate themselves as the vessels of dishonor to the obscure areas of ministry. Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 12:20-26 (NASB):

But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

So, let’s celebrate the saints who have given their lives for our freedom; to clean our church buildings, change our babies diapers, tirelessly prepare sermons for those who take the time to come to church, hand out bulletins and  the countless other things people do in the name of the Lord and out of sight of the public.

The apostles remind us that the church is a living organism, a body developed to rescue the perishing and care for the dying. Each of us who has made a personal decision to follow Christ are saints called to do his bidding. For that each of us should be celebrated.

PRAYER: Father God. Thank you for those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the sake of the Kingdom. May we be forever thankful for ‘the glass of water’ we have each received in your name. Amen.

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