Halloween: it seems to have become a much bigger deal than it ever was when I was growing up. Folks actually decorate their homes weeks in advance with spider webs and skeletons and tombstones—so much more than the Jack-O-Lanterns that would appear for just one night when I was growing up.
Of course, Halloween traditionally relates to a Church holiday—All Hallows or All Saints Day, which is November 1. Halloween is “All Hallows Eve,” or the night before the holiday, and over the years, it has grown in popularity, almost completely overshadowing the holiday that follows it, which I think is kind of a shame. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Halloween is fun, but All Saints Day encourages us to do something that matters deeply. It encourages us to remember that none of us have made it on our own, but all of us have benefited from what others have done for us.
And I’d like to encourage us all, maybe after the candy is all given out and the costumes are put away to do something that Fred Rogers—Mr. Rogers—used to encourage people to do. I would like to encourage us all to pause for just ten seconds during this season to remember the special ones in our lives who have loved us into being and who have helped us to become who we are—the people who have cared about us and wanted what was best for us. Just a ten second pause….
“Whomever you’ve been thinking about,” Mr. Rogers would say, “how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they’ve made.” And I would add, think how pleasing it would be for you one day to know that you were the person who made a profound difference in another person’s life. Nothing matters more, it seems to me—to make a positive difference in another person’s life—that is, to be a saint.
–Pastor Don Steele