It’s the week of Halloween as I write this. Not my favorite holiday. I don’t know exactly why, except it probably has something to do with my introverted personality–I don’t particularly enjoy making a spectacle of myself.
I also think back nearly thirty years ago to a South African mom at the international school in Japan where I taught for a few years. She came to me extremely concerned one day. What was this Halloween? Why would we celebrate darkness and the Devil?
I remember being taken aback. Why did I celebrate Halloween? I tried to explain that it was just a fun excuse to dress up and get candy, and no one really meant anything by it, but every year since then, when the television is full of horror movie commercials and dark shows about vampires, werewolves, etc., I have the same antsy feeling I had that day as I tried to explain the American holiday in a Japanese setting to a South African mom. As a mom myself, I enjoyed making costumes for my kids and taking them trick-or-treating, but I’m always glad when Halloween is over.
Lately, the evil in the world–pedestrians being mowed down on purpose by trucks on sidewalks around the world, out-of-control gun violence on Chicago streets, university campuses, and concert venues, plus all the #MeToo evidence of sexual misconduct, not to mention the state of the truth in our political world (do I have to go on?)–all this blatant evil looks like it’s “winning,” (to borrow a phrase).
Is it? Is the evil in the world winning? Just the evidence of evil in my own community can weigh me down, let alone thinking about all the evil on display in my own country and around the world! But is that the final answer? Is that God’s final answer?
Next week, we’ll see specifically what the Bible has to say about political leaders and who they answer to, but for today, for this week of Halloween, I just want to remind myself and all of us that the darkness isn’t permanent. God has another plan for that, and he has already declared victory. Stay tuned for specifics on that, too!
It is enough for me today to remember this:
The people living in darkness have seen a great light: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned (Matthew 4:16).
and this assurance from John 1:15:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
That gives me hope for today, and a promise for tomorrow.
The picture above is courtesy of commons.wikipedia.org.