It’s Halloween this weekend! Are you excited and eagerly awaiting sweets and costumes or groaning into your copy of the Lynn News? It’s a holiday which divides opinion – some enjoy the fun and others look forward to it being over for another year. I’m not a big fan of Halloween, to be honest. I can see that it is an opportunity to dress up, have fun and do something different but I don’t enjoy the decorations in shops or the loud banging on the door at night. Both can be unsettling and disturbing. My least favourite decoration last year were pictures dismembered hands stuck to a shop window that looked a bit too life-like. This year I found a large plastic rat on the counter of a shop rather off-putting.
I also feel that there is enough darkness in the world already without adding a lot of our own. There is a thrill in being spooked but in a world where Donald Trump might be president of America, I don’t need anything else to make me scared!
Did you know that Halloween came from a Christian festival? It doesn’t sound very likely, does it?! But it’s true. It’s a shortening of the phrase ‘All Hallows Eve’ which is the evening before All Saints Day when we remember all those who have died. Death can seem very scary which I guess is where the spooky skeletons, graveyards and zombies come from at Halloween but in the Christian tradition, we hold onto our belief that God is stronger than the powers of darkness and death, and through Jesus nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death. Death loses some of its fear when we hold onto Jesus’ promise of eternal life and we take comfort that our loved ones are held in the loving arms of God.
So, if you’re celebrating Halloween, enjoy it and have fun but try not to scare those of us who want a quiet evening watching Strictly! And over this weekend of ghouls and ghosts, be reassured that God’s love is stronger than any darkness we feel and always will be.
Rev’d Laura Baker
Kings Lynn Minster