Today is Halloween, an annual holiday celebrated in the U.S. as well as several other countries. The last time it fell on a Sunday was 2010.
“Halloween” literally means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening.” The holiday is rooted in ancient Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots. Later Gregory III, the 8th century Catholic Pope, designated November 1st as a time to honor departed saints, so October 31 became known as “All Hollow’s Eve.”
Except for Halloween, we rarely use the word “hallow” today. However, the word “hallowed,” a form of the words for “sanctify,” or “holy” is found 13 times in the Old Testament.
God’s name is hallowed (Lev. 22:32).
God’s Sabbath is hallowed (Ex. 20:11).
God’s people are hallowed (Ezek. 20:41).
In Jesus’ model prayer for the disciples, he began, “Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name” (Matt. 6:9). The same word is used 27 other times in the New Testament and is translated “sanctify” or “holy.”
Today is a hallowed day. It’s set apart and sanctified by God and called “the Lord’s Day.” The day Jesus arose from the dead. The day the church began. The day first-century Christians collectively assembled to worship.
In a culture where many people worship at the shrine of their local NFL stadium or spend it on their own personal pleasure or pursuits, it’s easy to forget that God hallowed this day.
Today, God’s holy, sanctified, and yes, hallowed people join together in fellowship to honor Him who is hallowed. We engage in those spiritual activities that God has set apart to offer spiritual sacrifices to Him who has redeemed us by His sinless blood.
Tonight, or maybe last night, little children have fun wearing masks, dressing up in costumes, and begging for sweet treats. While there may be varying personal opinions or even religious convictions about Halloween, let’s not forget who and what is truly hallowed.
It’s a day to remove our masks. To be real. Honest. And transparent before Him who knows our hearts. To imbibe of the bread of life and quench our thirsty souls by the water of life.
Today, may we all have greater interest in and find deeper purpose in holiness instead of Halloween.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman