The skies are darkening earlier, the sun descending in a radiance of color not seen in the other seasons. There is a beauty to everything as the leaves change from green to amber and gold and blow around in the cool breeze. Yet, with the tilt away from the sun comes a distinct chill, and what are these pretty leaves doing but dying? There is an undercurrent of melancholy to this change of seasons, a reminder that, even in its beauty, this world is broken, and death and all sorts of sadness occur. Perhaps this is why it is fitting that Halloween falls in such a season.
A lot of friends and loved ones have experienced their share of pain this year. From job losses, relationship problems, and personal failures to health problems and family deaths, it has been a hard year for many. For some people, myself included, we are not such jolly folk to begin with, and when we find ourselves in these times, it is hard to see God working. It is easy to fall into despair, and it is easy for Satan’s lies to take hold. In the darker seasons of the year, it is all the more important that we preach to ourselves the light in the darkness.
Halloween reminds us that Satan wages war against us. He is the “prince of this age,” and thus death, destruction, and chaos are the norm. Halloween is but the eve of All Saints Day, however, which reminds us that God wins in the end. He preserves Christ’s Church through all ages and all times until Jesus comes back in his glory to banish all these things that cause such despair. This is why we can carve scary faces on pumpkins and dress up like goblins. Yes, these dark things plague us now, but they have already been defeated at the cross. They will be banished, and Christ will make the world right. “I am making all things new,” he says (Rv. 21:5). May we rest on this promise as we enter the dark seasons, especially those who may already be in them.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never mastered it.” Jn. 1:5 REB
(Cover image: Caspar David Friedrich, Forest in the End of Autumn)