Who’s ready for some candy tonight? I sure am not. We still have a bunch of candy from last Halloween… and the kids didn’t even go trick or treating (because of COVID)! But we will go anyway, but not because we’re hurting for candy, obviously. But more because there is a community feel to Halloween that you just don’t get at other times of the year.
When else can you just randomly knock on a stranger’s door and interact with them? When else can you give and receive freely without expectation or condition? When else would you see so many people walking around on the streets laughing, enjoying themselves, and having a generally good time? If you live where we live, then the answer would be never else. We only see those things at Halloween.
So there is something to be said about just being with people. Being surrounded by others, enjoying each other’s company, maybe even supporting one another in what they are going through. I know, that might be a bit much for a bout of trick or treating, but when people are out together and relationships are formed, the future looks all the more bright.
Too bad our kids all have different plans tonight so they might not even be going out together. But I’m sure when they are reunited at the end of the night, they will have stories to tell each other about their respective adventures.
Next Sunday is All Saints Day, a day that we remember those that we’ve loved and lost. It sounds more like a Halloween theme sort of, but sometimes these things just can’t line up the way we’d like.
This story of Lazarus being raised is an interesting choice for All Saints, as while we are remembering those we’ve lost, we hear about Jesus resuscitating someone we don’t know. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Why aren’t our dead brought back?
The thing is, I don’t think the point of this story is about Lazarus or his formerly dead self. I think the story, as is most of the stories in the gospels, is about Jesus. Jesus being there in community. Jesus sitting with the others in their grief. Jesus reminding them that even in death we are not alone.
These are the themes that I find prevalent in these readings, in the whole idea of All Saints Day, and even foundational for our faith. In that God’s promise to us isn’t that we won’t ever feel grief, but that we’ll be surrounded by community, relationship, and all the saints of all times and places.
It’s good to know that we aren’t alone. It’s good to know that we are perpetually invited and welcomed into God’s community. It’s good to know that even in death, we can see and feel God’s love for us all.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!