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Holy Evening (11/04/2012)
From: T.M. Schoewe

We have just gone through another Halloween. And it might not hurt us to remember that the tradition is Christian. It was a time to contemplate death and the recently departed. Even though we do not take it very seriously today, it just may be that the witches and goblins and other shadowy characters might make it as good a time as any to ponder the reality of darkness and death that besets us all.

And as for Christians, the darkness of Halloween is never the final or last word. The ultimate Word set aside for us is the resurrection light of Christ, the eventual triumph by His grace that will be the final renewal of a creation headed for dark death. It is real. Denying darkness or slipping into goblin nihilism, believing we will finally just be consumed by darkness and that’s it, is something we need to avoid.

Although we indeed dwell in “this present darkness” as Paul writes in Philippians 2:12, and need to “work out our salvation in fear and trembling.” That is a good reason to always hang onto the crucifixion of our Lord and remember our innocence was lost in the fall, in that first garden, and our return is through the Redemption brought about by Christ’s death and our participation in it. The crucifixion reminds us that we are baptized in Christ’s death and that He, along with us, still groan for the full redemption of a broken creation. On that cross Christ dwelt in the darkness and knew the forsakenness of God. On the cross Christ was made to taste the terribleness of sin, a bitterness that will haunt until we are finally made whole in the new creation by our redeeming Lord.

You might learn about darkness by reading Psalm 88. You can find wonders in darkness and He is not only to be found in light. Like Christ the Christian goes through darkness (not around it) and by slowly taking our part in it we along with this old created world will be saved by it. So, here’s our salute to All Saints Day! Thanks for showing us there is something wrong in this world and that our way out into the light is through our Lord Who came to rescue all creation.  


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