Tomorrow will be All Hallow’s Eve. Old English rendered it as Halloween. Or, as it’s called in Spanish-speaking areas, Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead.
No matter what language you speak, folk traditions say that on this day spirits that are normally safely restrained are set free to roam at will. We’re accustomed to think in terms of candy, costumes, and delirious children. But horror movies aptly portray other possibilities of our imaginations. The message is, anything could happen!
If you are feeling more apprehensive than usual this year though, it’s not just your imagination. The Pandemic adds a whole new level of concern. The possibility of a contested national election is another source of worry. No one really knows what lies ahead for our nation. (Like we ever did?)
Add to these things, it’ll be both a rare full moon visible to everyone on earth, and a “Blue moon”, the second full moon this month. Anyone who’s ever worked in the medical field or in law enforcement will tell you that a full moon always coincides with more accidents and illness. No wonder people feel that, anything could happen.
Anything could happen, yes. But God also happens. The Day of the Dead has an endpoint. At midnight it becomes All Hallows Day (aka All Saints Day).
We are not the first people to face uncertainty and to see ominous possibilities in our world. Yet the most dreadful spirits have never succeeded in destroying God’s people. Jesus brings good news: a new day lies just over the horizon! Fear dissolves in the face of confident hope. God is, and God is with us.
Blessings, Pr. Beth
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.