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Summary: In this sermon I draw upon the history of Halloween as being influenced by the doctrine of death and resurrection. I have included a full article about Halloween (Halloween: A Christian Perspective) that I found in The Wall Street Journal.

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Strangers & Pilgrims in this World

1 Peter 1:1-9

v. 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

v. 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

v. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

v. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

v.7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

v. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

In 1 Peter 2:11-12, Note how Peter addresses the Christian:

v.11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

v. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Origins of Halloween from History.com:

Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic "Hallowmas" period of All Saints Day and All Souls' Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children's holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people can still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.

From Rob Moll’s article “Halloween: A Christian Perspective – WSJ – Last Friday

For many churches this week, there won't be any Styrofoam grave stones, skeletons or spooky signs of death and decay. Instead of morbid celebrations of Halloween, there will be innocuously termed—and innocuously decorated—"Harvest Parties." It's Halloween cleaned up, made appropriate even for the youngest congregants.


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