After I submit my kids to “death by candy,” we turn around and celebrate All Saints Day. Last Sunday was Trunk or Treat. It was a true blessing to see the joy of life in the kids. When they are all dressed up, we get a glimpse of who they are and who they want to be. One of the kids at Trunk or Treat was asked if he was a tree frog and he said, “NO! I am a poison dart frog!” It is clear that the young can be accurate about their hopes and dreams, and also about who they are pretending to be. Jacob was rather frustrated with Abby calling him an Avenger when he was really a G.I. Joe. The problem was that Jacob couldn’t remember who he was, so he had a hard time communicating who he was supposed to be back to his little sister. Call me crazy, but I love the season of Halloween. I love watching the joy in a child’s face. I like carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds, just like I did when I grew up. I like the season of fall, and I don’t mind a scare or two to keep me on my toes. Honestly, Halloween reminds us of something we easily forget – death and the devil are real and in this world.
Maybe it is fitting that “death by candy” leads us right into a celebration of All Saints Day. Our world gives us many reminders of the death we will face one day, and this week was no different. The passing of Oscar Taveras came as a shock to Cardinal nation, and to baseball fans everywhere. When a man who is only 22 years old passes away, it reminds us that death could come at any moment. I have to admit, while death is something I commonly deal with, I really had to process this one. Every time someone passes I reflect on my last memories with them. In this case, it was acknowledging that this wasn’t an injury, but he really passed away, and we will never see this Cardinal take the field again. It was saddening. Life can often feel too short as we process losing those we love. All too often I have sat with those who have lost those precious people.
This weekend we will celebrate All Saints Day. We take time to remember those in our congregation who passed this year. Many of us will reflect on the loved ones and friends who have passed. As Pastor, I will do my best to bring God’s Word from one of the most challenging books in Scripture – Revelation. Revelation is one of those books pastors like to stay away from. It is challenging (even for us pastors) to understand all the significance. Yet, it is a reminder that while we will all face death as product of our sin, by trusting in Jesus, we will have His covering over our lives and receive the gift of eternity! To the world, All Saints Day might just look like a celebration of death and the lives that once lived, but as Christians, we celebrate the life to come and the celebration feast with our Savior!