Martin Luther and Halloween 2012

Well, it’s here! The day when kids descend upon our house and people in our neighborhood brace for an importation of children looking for a handout of candy. Halloween 2012.

My feelings about trick or treating have already been documented somewhere in the abyss of blogs I’ve written, but here’s another objective perspective for the proceedings. It comes from Christianity Today so it ought to be pretty good.

This year Halloween falls on Wednesday, so Lori and I are inviting all the children and youth over to the house for the mid-week service. It will involve some eating, visiting, and then walking around to see our neighbors. Of course, this holiday is a high point for the children as the dress up in their favorite costumes. It’s also a high point for me to see children having so much fun.

October 31 is also Reformation Day, and I did refer to this significant occasion by referencing Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in the sermon yesterday. We also sang “A Mighty Fortress is our God” which is associated with Luther as well. Baptists owe a debt of gratitude to Luther for his insistence on “scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, and Christ alone.” He had the courage to stand against the institutional church and state that “common people” had the right to read and interpret the Scriptures on their own. He resisted a hierarchical approach to church and Baptists have followed through on these distinctives with a congregational style of church polity. This does not always guarantee and efficient means of doing church, but it does mean every member has a voice in how things are done.

I don’t know if Martin Luther would have trick or treated, but he left some great words in the above mentioned hymn for us to consider:  “And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thro’ us; The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.”

Thanks Martin.

 

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