Thursday, November 01, 2007

Saints or spirits

Today most of you will be recovering from some form of Halloween celebrations. In an attempt to “clean up” our world we have chosen to embrace the Harvest Party tradition abandoning any connection with the spirit world. In this part of the world (Poland) Halloween has just begun to make its debut. The majority of the time it is only celebrated in school during English language classes.

However, today is a BIG Spiritual holiday of a different kind. It is one of those few days in the year when everything is closed. If you don’t have an orthodox background All Saint’s Day has as much meaning to you as an ipod would for a cave man.

Growing up in the Catholic church I remember going to Mass on All Saint’s Day but for me it was just another one of those days when I had to go to church when my protestant friends didn’t. From the time I was 16 on it marked the anniversary of the 1st time I had ever been stopped by the police. All in all there wasn’t much understanding as to what this day was about.

Here in Poland All Saint’s Day is a very big deal and for many people it is one of their favorite holidays. I’m still learning what the significance of this holiday is for the people whom I know. I think that one of the reasons for its popularity is that the preparation doesn’t include a big fancy meal that has tied the women to the kitchen for days. But it does entail a good grave cleaning and elaborate arrangements of flowers and candles. It is a family time of reflection of ones mortality, Christ’s redemption and honor paid to those “Saints” that have gone before us.

I don’t understand all the theological points of the various practices but I’m impressed by the practice of reflection and remembering all those who make up that great cloud of witnesses that give us hope of what lies ahead for us.

That our spirits will spend Eternal life with Jesus

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a

2 comments:

TravisM said...

Most excellent points and observations, sheedding some light on an otherwise misunderstood occasion.

TG said...

Denise:
It must be very cold now. Even here in Tennessee we have 30F this morning.
How was your back? I know God is watching over you but my wife and I still want to say : "take care of yourself!"
We are busy doing student ministry in campus here. God truly blesses us from 4 in August to about 15 now. May all the glory be to Him.
Blessings,
TG