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All Hallows’ Eve : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog All Hallows’ Eve—darkness or light?

The word “Halloween” stems from an attempt by the church to replace the Festival of Samhain, lord of the dead, with a Christian celebration.

It began with All Saint’s Day, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, that was moved from May to November 1st, juxtaposing a celebration of the Lord of life with the pagan festival. As time passed, All Hallows’ Eve became Halloween–a term with Christian roots.

Unfortunately, though a veneer of Christianity was imposed over the ancient pagan festival, pagan customs changed little. Jack O lanterns and demonic beings dominated the festival. Individuals garbed in demonic get up paraded house to house, demanding “treats” in exchange for protection from “tricks” supposedly played by demonic “spirits.” These traditions continued to play a part in the pagan rituals.

These rituals involved communication with and the placating of both evil spirits and spirits of the dead. Jack O lanterns were a protection for the home from these evil creatures. Treats were not given in a spirit of fun, but a forced offering so these creatures would leave the family alone and not cause deaths, drought or crop failure.

The pagans believed that on the day of the festival, the divide between this world and the supernatural was at its thinnest point. In our day, as adults become more and more taken up with this holiday with solid pagan and evil roots, witches, evil beings and witchcraft have become front and center in the media and literature.

What is scary is how all this is portrayed, not as evil, but as something to embrace while given a positive spin. The once innocent fun of Trick or Treating has become downright dangerous in some places.

As followers of Godly and/or of positive things for ourselves and our families, we need to seriously consider our response to a holiday growing darker every year. Will our actions promote darkness and evil–or will we shine goodness, light and hope into that darkness by how we approach and celebrate this holiday?

By Carolyn R scheidies
Published in the Kearney Hub 2019 October 21

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