Summary: Halloween, elections, Day of the Dead, Communion
The Only thing we have to fear ...
Hebrews 12 : 1 - 3
This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself——nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
FDR’s Inaugural address 1933
Today let’s spend some time talking about facing our fears. Some fears are very real and should be approached with respect and trepidation. Many of our fears, however, are pretty much unfounded.
The days surrounding today are filled with fears. First, we celebrated Halloween. A day in which all the ghoulies and ghosties fill our imagination A day on which its kind of fun to get ourselves a little scared of those things that go bump in the night. To let our imaginations run wild for fun and the simple celebration of being a kid. Some people are scared of Halloween. Not of the costumes and monsters. Not even of the tradition that Halloween is the night that the spirits are free for a short time before All Saints Day. But afraid that by celebrating Halloween we’re somehow teaching our children Satanism. I would venture to guess that just about everybody in this church this morning celebrated Halloween as a child. I would also venture to guess that very few of us have descended into human sacrifice and Satanism because of that participation. Halloween is about fun ... its about dressing up ... about candy .... about enjoying our imagination. So I’m proud to celebrate it ... because I don’t want to lose that part of childhood. Each October 31st I get to be a kid again ... if only for a bit. And I like that! No Fear!
Reformation Day is also celebrated this time of year. The time when Martin Luther told the Roman Catholic Church that he could not agree with many of their practices of his day. So on October 31st 1517 Martin took his 95 reasons and nailed them to the church door in Wittenburg Germany. Many people of his day were terrified. What would become of Christianity if the Church, the only church that had been known for 1500 years, what if it split? Well ... 500 years later we see some good, some bad, but we see great diversity and ministry because of the Reformation. No fear! God is in control.
Many people today are afraid of what will happen this Tuesday. O Lord ... what will happen if Obama is elected?!?! O Lord ... what will happen if McCain is elected!?!?!? Some are even worried about what will happen in the local races. We should fear ... a little. At lease fear enough to get out and vote! As a pastor I’m not suppose to take a political position from the pulpit. Well....I”m not good at doing what I’m suppose to do. I encourage you, one and all to vote against the amendment allowing the Lottery to come in to Arkansas. Yes, most of the rest of the nation has done it. And if you ask them how it has benefitted their educational system, which is what the Lottery says it will support, they’ll all tell you ... none at all. See, the state cuts its funding when the Lottery kicks in so the schools end up with the same amount of money while the state is left having to deal with a higher demand on people who are indigent. The Lottery is a tax on the stupid. You’re not going to win. Like they say in the movie, Wargames, the only way to win is not to play. As to the outcome of the elections ...Romans 13:1