Skip to main content
I love Halloween. Always have. I know there are many who dislike Halloween or are concerned about its themes, but for me it's always been about costumes and candy. When I was a kid in the '70s, the costumes were nowhere near as cool as they are today. They were basically cheap fabric and a cheap plastic mask. Now costumes are very sophisticated; one can easily cost $100 or more. Yikes.

The most fun costumes were those we made at home. When James was little, Christy made him a Woody costume from Toy Story. When I was in college, I went to a party dressed as a tree-I bought a body suit, covered it in pieces of masking tape all over, and coated them with brown shoe polish. A wreath of branches around my head. I could not bend my knees or elbows. I thought it was pretty cool. No one else did. Then again, my buddy went to the party as a vampire bunny. The tree was better.

I love the whole idea of "dress up," Halloween or not. It can be lots of fun to be somebody else, to live a different life, to do, think, and act as anyone we can imagine. I'd argue the Bible even encourages dress up: "As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves in with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12); "Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand up against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:12); " Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit..." (Luke 12:35). Were those texts taken out of context? Yes. Was it fun? Yup. That's the point. Halloween is fun, and it can also be scary. To this day I cannot watch the original Halloween from 1978. Kids today think it is cheesy. Not to me!

All this talk of fun and scary stuff is relevant not just for tomorrow night, but for Sunday, as we begin a new sermon series from the Book of Revelation. Revelation (not "Revelations") is both fun and scary, and lots more. It is a book that has fascinated people from the very beginning-- its themes and images can be frightening and inspiring. Because of its style we are attracted to it like moths to light; yet it is also very frustrating. For nearly 2000 years people have tried to crack its codes, understand its puzzles, find the real meaning. It has been used as a forecast for things to happen-- people have tried to marry current events to John's visions-- in hope of something BIG happening. And those same people are still waiting, anticipating.

I do not promise to solve any mysteries or answer everyone's questions in the series. We will offer a companion study Sunday evenings at 6:00-- bring all of your thoughts and interpretations! But let's not be so quick to get everything solved over the next eight Sundays. After Halloween is over we'll put away the costumes, turn off the imagination and pretending, and just be our normal, everyday selves. Not that exciting. Let's not do that with Revelation. Let's keep that mystery, humor, fear, and excitement there, knowing we can always go back for more.


Bill Remington said…
My fondest memory of Halloween was when I dressed up as a blind Venetian by draping a full venetian blind over me with my head sticking out. People would say "what are you suppose to be?" and I would say "I am a blind Venetian." No it was not my idea!

Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…