by Jeff Kilmartin Pastor, Wiesenthal Baptist Church
There were three out-of-the-ordinary days coming up in Millet (and everywhere else). The first will land on October 31, and is normally called Halloween.
You can Google “Halloween” for the full, tangled story, but it used to be a holiday called “All Hallows Eve,” and was made to slow us down to recall the departed saints of the church. Now it has turned into an un-holy day which disguises itself as just a fun evening, while harbouring a dark underside.
Still, we should not ignore such a day (happily past now). It reminds me that the normal Christian genre for movies and books ought to be the “horror” genre. The original scary books – Frankenstein and Dracula – were written from a Christian perspective, because it was understood that the only possible way to battle and defeat spiritual evil is through the power of Jesus Christ. Humans sometimes think they have the necessary strength to engage with and even control other-worldly forces, but they are only deluding themselves.
The last out-of-the-ordinary day will be Remembrance Day, on November 11. On this day we celebrate the peace we have been granted through the efforts of our Canadian Armed Forces fighting in the several wars of the last century or so. We are called to remember the sacrifice made by those who fought, many of them giving their lives for that peace.
The peace granted to us by armed might is of the kind we are called to pray for (in Paul’s first letter to Timothy, chapter 2, verse 2), and in and of itself it is a very valuable commodity. But it is not the same kind of peace that God is able to give us. This peace is a much deeper phenomenon, because it is based on a complete reconciliation between us and God – the place where all of our discord begins.
The middle out-of-the-ordinary day is called Reformation Day, and it is the least known of the three. It comes each year on November 1, and (in part) is meant to call to our mind the rediscovery of the teaching that we do not have to somehow earn salvation, because that is impossible for us. We cannot somehow make ourselves “good enough” to gain the favour of God. Instead what has happened is Jesus has paid for our salvation himself.
Thinking of Halloween and Remembrance Day reminds us that there are forces in the world, both spiritual and human, which would seek to oppress and enslave us, denying us the peace and happiness that God wants us to have. Reformation Day reminds us of the gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ to free us from oppression and slavery, and to grant us the peace and joy that only He can give.
The Pipestone Flyer has invited pastors and reverends from local churches to write a regular column for the paper.