For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. –Ecclesiastes 9:5, ESV
Today is Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther igniting the Reformation movement away from the Roman Catholic Church.
This means it is also Halloween.
And you know what? Halloween can be fun.
Yes. There is a lot of paganism in the history of this day.
Yes. This is a high holiday for many Wiccans and other pagans, attempting to connect with spirits and even demons.
Most people today do NOT participate in that.
While over the next few days many cultures either worry about or celebrate deceased loved ones visiting this world, Ecclesiastes 9:5 reminds us that the dead have no real concern for this world.
Either they are headed for destruction and railing at God, or they are with Christ and worshiping Him.
We try to show we are not afraid of death by dressing up as (un)dead things and people, and we sometimes claim we are remembering the dead. At best we are remembering a shadow, only the best or the worst of someone. In truth, the memory is just that: a shadow.
And most people – if they are honest – are afraid of death. Some want to be reunited with lost loved ones, but they rarely know what they are wishing for.
This is starting to get long, so let us remember:
- the fear of death is misplaced,
- the memories of the dead are never perfect,
- and the afterlife will be nothing like any of fully expect (if it all correct).
Instead, it is:
- the fear of the Lord that gives us hope for the afterlife;
- and the dead may not remember much of this life, but the Lord forgets our sins if we are found in Christ and brought into everlasting life.
And instead of getting caught up in the where and why of the history of Halloween, may we focus on sharing the truth of Life with those in this world who are still walking in darkness and death.