Yesterday was Halloween, the night of the walking dead. We had several of such walkers looking only slightly dead at our house last night. Here in northern Florida it was the warmest Halloween of my life. At the beginning of the night we noticed people walking right by our house as we waited inside for the doorbell to ring. No, Halloween walkers do not ring doorbells because people being tricked or treated are outside! Some of them in the midst of their elaborate Halloween displays of huge inflatable scary figures and haunted places. Halloween is big here. We had over 250 children stop by once we took our chairs outside. As I said, we had many of the walking dead trying to look scary but mostly looking cute. Duck Dynasty inspired many costumes this year and, of course, there were a number of fair princesses as well. Our grandkids who live near us stopped over: there was a black hole (who would think of being one and then to come up with a costume), a car, and two bumblebees. The littlest bumblebee was experiencing her first Halloween. She is only about two and recently adopted from China. When their family went next door to greet some neighbors they knew (they used to live in the house we live in now) they introduced their newest child who the neighbors had not met yet. They were not sure whether our son and daughter in law were pulling their legs - oh sure, she is your daughter or whether she was a friend who had dressed up as a little Asian bumblebee. The neighbor happens to be a pest control expert down here so maybe he was thinking of some species of bee he had not set eyes on yet.
I was thinking of how this night of walking dead was so popular here in the land that celebrates the Giver of Life on almost every street corner with big churches and full parking lots each Sunday and Wednesday night. There were plenty of haunted houses in town and the streets were filled with zombies and skeletons and blood stained bodies. Then, in a couple of days, the costumes are put away and people are back in church praising the LORD of Life. Mostly, last night was just fun for kids who like to dress up and get candy. For adults, maybe it is a way to deal with our fears. There were new horror films out this week and the tv was showing plenty of reruns of such shows. Maybe we are hedging our bets that this stuff is not really real and death is not all that scary if we can pretend it isn't and dress up like zombies. But then when Sunday comes are we just dressing up again. Putting on Sunday costumes and making believe. In the gospel of Matthew, the dead rise at the Resurrection and walk into town and were seen by many. It was said that they were saints who had fallen asleep. It also says that many who saw them were terrified. Halloween plays with the idea of the dead as wandering souls. We can't handle that much reality. On Sunday, when we affirm our belief in the Resurrection, Christ's and ours - because of His - we know we have been raised from death to life. There is no fear nor fascination with death and there is no pretend to this Life. Let the dead walk on Halloween if they have to but give me Sunday.