All Saints: Take off your Grave Clothes

The Rev. Mike Angell preaches on All Saints Day: Your faith isn’t just yours. Your faith was passed down to you. Never forget that, and know when you come down the aisle of church, when you sing a song of the saints of God, when you stand around the table, you are not alone. The communion of the saints, all the saints is here to. So take off your grave clothes. Be Free. Practice resurrection, and get out there and get about the work of setting others free. That’s what Jesus asks of us, this All Saints Day.

What does a thinking Christian do with Halloween?

Part of why we need to be careful about Halloween is because there are so many stories around us that associate evil with women’s bodies, with other cultures, with those who are different. Specific evils: Racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, age-ism, these evils haunt us. Real concrete harm is done when we allow these forces to run amok. Some modern feminists have re-claimed Lilith. Some in our congregation may even have once attended a “Lilith Fair” concert, a tour which featured women artists and told the rabbinic story of Lilith as Adam’s first wife, who refused to be subservient to men. When we encounter resistance to Halloween, I think we have to ask ourselves: what has done more damage in our history, literal demons?

The Wisdom of the Cross and Climate Change

The wisdom of the cross asks us to see the painful truths, to see the suffering of climate change, not to avert our gaze, and the wisdom of the cross asks us to also see the beauty that can happen even in the ugliest of situations. The wisdom of the cross is that dread does not have the last word. There is always a reason to hope. There is always a reason to call our fellow human beings to stop living out of fear, to stop living in denial, to work with hope for new life.