10.30.21 Saturday E-Blast

October 30th, 2021
Happy Saturday NCFF!
If you have children, grandchildren, know some kids, or you simply remain a child-at-heart, then you know what tomorrow is. It is Halloween.

This day ranks 2nd, right after Christmas, in overall popularity in America. So, what is Halloween all about? Should we, as Christians, even acknowledge its existence because of its obvious ties to darkness and evil? It distresses me that many believers today are not asking themselves these questions. As a Christian, I have asked them. As your pastor, I want to try and give some guidance for you to consider.

No doubt about it, there is a dark side to Halloween. The origin of its observance dates back to an ancient Gaelic pagan religious practice in Ireland called “Samhain.” This name means, “summer’s end” and Samhain is pronounced “sow-in,” with the “ow” rhyming with “cow.” On Samhain Eve, October 31, ancient burial mounds would be opened to allow the living and the dead to communicate with one another. Bonfires were lit and food sacrifices were offered to appease the ancient druid gods and to seek their help for surviving the harsh winter months. People would dress in costumes and visit one another’s homes, asking for food to eat. I’m pretty sure Snickers and Almond Joy candy bars were not around then. 😊

However, surprisingly, there is also a positive, spiritual side connected to Halloween. The Church has always recognized, based on Biblical teaching, that life on this earth is a battle zone between Satan and the Savior. Sometime around AD 800, believers began to “Christianize” Samhain and the pagan practices associated with it. The night of October 31 began to be known by Christians as “All Hallows Eve” or “All Saints Eve.” The terms saints and hallows mean “holy.” Thus, All Hallows/Saints Eve became a recognition by Christians of God’s saints and holy ones who had died and were with Jesus in Heaven. Feasts and celebrations began on the evening of October 31 as an intended witness, by the Church, of the eternal life and the abundant life that only Christ can supply. Wow, pretty cool!

Obviously then, in this battle to claim Halloween, I don’t think either side has emerged as the clear winner. It is somewhat like the struggle I feel with Christmas and Easter. These two holidays (“holy days”) are the most sacred of Christian observances. However, they have also become the most secular. Most kids today can talk up Santa & the Bunny, but know nothing about the Christ Child. This ignorance does not bode well for the future of the home or our country.

So then, what are we to do with Halloween? Here’s my thought: Reclaim it! Use the day to celebrate the eternal and abundant life that Jesus gives. Praise God that those dead believers which we love are now more alive, than ever before, in Heaven with Christ. Teach these truths in your home. Testify to people who don’t know Jesus that He loves them and wants to save them by His grace. In the end, Halloween is what you choose to make it.

Tomorrow from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, NCFF will be hosting our annual “Trunk or Treat.” Our goal is a simple one. We want the community to know we love Jesus, that we love them, and that we’d like to love them to Jesus. Send or bring the kids you know our way.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you for worship tomorrow at either 9:00 or 10:45 AM. We’ll be continuing our study in the tiny Bible book of Jude. The message is from Jude 3-4 and is entitled, “Our Uncommon Common Salvation.” Here’s a question for you: Why would anyone want Jesus to save them? We’ll learn 7 amazing responses from Scripture that will cause your heart to rejoice over the Son of God! Hope to see you then. Praying for you.

Pastor John K. Nagle

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