Many homes have decorations out this time of year. Fake spider webs, orange pumpkin-shaped lights, ghosts, and witches adorn the front porches and windows of many homes. Other stoops boast harvest scenes: tastefully arranged hay bales, pumpkins, corn stalks, and scarecrows. Driving around town, one minute I am enjoying the lovely harvest-themed adornment of one house, only to be taken aback two doors down by a gory scene on a front lawn or a creepy face staring at me through a blood-decorated window.
Perhaps you can guess which decorations I like better? <wink>
All kidding aside, as I was running the streets a few mornings ago, I got to thinking about how beautiful it is that Thanksgiving follows Halloween. While I love the kiddie, neighbor-meeting fun of the latter, I am forced to acknowledge the dark side of the day. I mean, the costume shops alone make sure their windows and front displays are anything but welcoming! Death, darkness, and gore are celebrated or at least embraced "all in good fun". But the truth is, none of those things are fun, or funny. Evil is a reality - a spiritual reality - that wants to consume us and keep us from the good God has for us. (See my last post.)
Enter: Thanksgiving. What better celebration to follow the chaos, darkness, and death of October 31! I am reminded of the Gospel:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air ... But, because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:1-2 & 4-5
Halloween is not the end of the story! All this world has to offer us is Halloween, with its death and darkness. But God, who is rich in mercy, is not content to leave us there. He gives life to the dead, shining His light into the darkness. Those where are dead in their transgressions can enter the abundance of the Lord. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed!
I am grateful for the juxtaposition of these two annual celebrations and the object lesson they provide. The word that rang in my head on that run, and has been since, is abundance. Halloween is emptiness and depravity. Thanksgiving is feasting and abundance.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~Jesus, (John 10:10)
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Maybe you lovely ladies that entered the giveaway would now finally like to know who won! Well, here you are:
I'll be in touch about getting your new book to you!