A few days ago, my wife and I were at Home Depot, and we happened to walk by the Halloween decorations. We like Halloween, we do some decorating, and we love to sit out next to our fire pit on Halloween night handing out treats to the kids who come trick or treating to our house (all 200 or so of them), so we were enjoying looking at all the weird, wonderful, and interesting things they had.
As we walked along, I saw, on a shelf, a box marked “LED Mini Cat Skeletons”, and the little things were actually kind of adorable, in a Halloween-y sort of way. I went to pick one up, because, well, it needed to be picked up, and, as I moved my hand over the little skeleton, the whole box of these things erupted in meowing and howling sounds. I literally jumped. My wife laughed. Who knew the little things made noise?! For just an instant, I was frightened a little, because I wasn’t expecting sounds from the little cat skeleton things. (and yes, I may yet go back and buy one, you never know).
But isn’t that kind of a part of the fun of Halloween, being innocently frightened a little? Doesn’t Halloween help us to make light of silly fears, make light of things that are supposed to be “spooky and scary”? A little child dressed as a mummy isn’t scary, it’s cute. My wife and I love the very inventive, creative costumes we usually see, and a baby dressed like a pumpkin – simply too adorable for words.
The “fear” of Halloween is make-believe, of course, but we all do know that real life can have its share of things that are really scary, things that might really cause us to fear. Being afraid is an all to regular part of our lives, unfortunately. We might face a sudden or threatening illness, we might face financial stress, loss of job, loss of love, or just a dread of whatever might come next. Fear is a real part of our lives.
But the good news is that, as disciples of Jesus Christ, as beloved children of God, as people made new in the waters of baptism and fed at the table of Holy Communion, we need not fear our fears. Time and again we are told to not be afraid, not because there aren’t fearful things going on, but because whatever we do face, we face it with God by our side.
We live every day of our lives filled with the grace and love of God. We live every day of our lives secure in the truth that God goes with us everywhere we go, that God goes before us, and beside us, no matter where the journey of life takes us. We are never alone, we never have to face a challenge or crisis or struggle alone. God is with us, always, everywhere, and forever. And nothing can separate us from God, nothing at all. We need not fear, we need not be afraid, because we have the strength and love of God with us and within us always.
We will be having our annual Trunk or Treat event on October 28th, from 5 to 7 PM. This is a great time for kids and a great time for adults. I hope you will take time to be part of this fun event, by decorating your car and handing out treats, by helping in the kitchen, or just by bringing your little ones over for the fun, and food and good times. See you in church!
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