November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

Yesterday I started telling the story of Martin Luther posting a list for church reform on the castle door. What I like most about the story, is that Prince Frederick had a huge collection of Saint relics and every November 1st, All Saints Day, he opened his castle doors for all Europe to come and (sight-) see (maybe buy relics/souvenirs! like we do when we travel!).

People did come from all Europe and on the castle door was posted Luther's 95 Thesis for all to see.
 Because of people telling all they met as journeying home, and the printing press having printed Luther's Thesis, they say that all of Europe heard of the church reform list in 4 weeks!

Did Protestantism just take off from then? If you read history, no. Law was, that a country went as the rulership went. So like with England, you have a century of war - a swing from a Henry to a Bloody Mary to an Elizabeth, etc. Scotland and mainland Europe was just as bad. Many massacres.

As to All Saints Day - from all over, all localities had stories of people who did unique things for God. Saints are people who hear the Gospel message and live it out in their culture, usually addressing a need. Without saints we'd not have many hospitals, schools and meeting-needs-institutions. Saints live very "whole-heart-edly" (would that maybe imply that many people live 1/2 heartedly?!) and often on a tight-rope over a precipice; and are often called heretics in their time. And remember that the Apostle Paul calls all believers saints.

There were so many stories, the church started researching and 'canonized' about 400 to be remembered on calendar days. So all the thousands of others were lumped on this day. This day was originally in April or May and the Parthenon was the gathering place. But because of too many people and not enough food, it was moved to Nov 1 because of harvest food availability.

My suggestion for Halloween would be to go ahead and do costumes, but chose a saint or hero of the faith to dress as. Know their story and share it.

I've posted before about how I use the kitchen table to place visuals, many hang from a wreath over the table. Visual Imagery is just as important and needed as the Rational. Visuals help remind my heart. So for this day, I like to fill a shallow clay pot with lots of varieties of candles standing in sand. Contemplative, metaphorical me watches as the many varieties of people (candles) burn together and eventually falling on one another, igniting one another, and melting together. It's such a great visual of the community in Christ.
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