Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween & Reformation Day

October 31 is notable for two very different "holidays." One is Halloween, a term that is shortened for the day before (or evening of, if you will) All Hallow's Day, now known as All Saint's Day. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the pagan festival called Samhain, celebrated in Great Britain and Celtic Ireland. Because of the pagan background of Halloween and the modern-day association with many things considered evil (vampires, witches, ghosts, spirits, etc.) about the holiday, a number of Christians decide to have nothing to do with Halloween and don't allow their children to participate in trick-or-treating. There are, however, a number of Christians who do participate. I am such a one, and I rather like Tim Challies' explanation as to why he is one as well.

The other significance about this day is that it is Reformation Day. 490 years ago, a monk named Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Although there were some rumblings within the church before Luther picked up hammer and nail (timeline), this day stands as the recognized beginning of the Great Reformation. After years of believing that he had to do penance to earn his way to Heaven, Luther realized that it is by faith in Christ alone - sola fide - that he is made justified in God's sight.

I want to direct your attention to a few sites that are discussing/honoring Reformation Day:

Added: Challies has his annual Reformation Day Symposium, which offers many more links.

And: The Reformation Polka...

(HT: Timmy Brister)

No comments:

Post a Comment