October 31 is commonly referred to as Halloween which is “all-hallows-eve” or the night before all Saints’ Day on Nov.1. November 1 is All Saints Day, a day in which we remember the many people in our lives who have shared their faith and are now with the Lord. In the 8th century, the Roman Catholic Church moved All Saints' Day, a day celebrating the church's saints, to November 1. This meant that All Hallows' Eve (or Halloween) fell on October 31. ... The folklore about Stingy Jack was quickly incorporated into Halloween, and we've been carving pumpkins—or turnips—ever since. A jack-o'-lantern (or jack o'lantern) is a carved pumpkin, turnip, or other root vegetable lantern associated with Halloween. ... The name is also tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way. Jack-o-lantern is the real name for the carved pumpkin. Its glowing face was supposed to scare away evil spirits. You carried it around the edge of your village or let it burn outside your house on Halloween night. ... So they used pumpkins instead. Catholicism values peace. Halloween is the opposite, exalting sudden and unprovoked violence, all without the consequences of reality. The Catholic Church forbids séances and all attempts to conjure the dead. ... This pagan belief is honored by Halloween's ubiquitous ghost decorations and costumes.
The wearing of costumes at Halloween may come from the belief that supernatural beings, or the souls of the dead, roamed the earth at this time. The practice may have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter. ... The festival is believed to have pre-Christian roots. The custom of trick-or-treating on Halloween may come from the belief that supernatural beings, or the souls of the dead, roamed the earth at this time and needed to be appeased. It may otherwise have originated in a Celtic festival, held on 31 October–1 November, to mark the beginning of winter.
October 31 is not only Halloween but also for us as Lutherans it is Reformation Day. Martin Luther is the Reformer who started his life as a Roman Catholic Monk. At that time only church leaders (monks, priests, etc) were allowed to read the Bible which had been translated into Latin. In return the church leaders were to explain what God was telling His People through the Bible. As a catholic monk, reading and studying the Bible (God’s Divine Word) Luther found some practices and teachings of the catholic church that were not in agreement with God’s Word. Some of these teachings were in regard to purgatory, the belief regarding the Pope, praying to the Saints, doing penance to make up for sins and the sale of indulgences. Indulgences were being sold by the church to raise money for the building of a large cathedral. For a specific some of money a person to could buy a slip of paper, called an indulgence, that would give that person forgiveness for a particular sin. It was the sale of indulgences that added fuel to the fire for Martin Luther. As he read scripture he found that God forgives us of all of our sins through the Blood of Jesus Christ and that nothing can be added or needs to be added for forgiveness. Today I rejoice that there is nothing that I can do (or need to do) to earn forgiveness. As a result, Martin Luther would struggle over the question, “Have I done enough to earn forgiveness”? His answer was the fact as a sinner he knew that he never would do enough to make-up for his many sins.
It was on October 31 that Martin Luther posted Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517. To us nailing a sheet of paper to the main door of the church sounds very radicle, but in those days the church door was the community bulletin board. Martin Luther never wanted to start his own religion or even have people who followed his beliefs to be called “Lutheran”, he mere wanted to openly discuss the 95 teachings and practices of the church that he found to not be in agreement with the Bible.
To God be the Glory!
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