Sacred spaces, and sacred times are not terribly important to me. One day is like any other, and one place like another. Some of you reading this will be appalled to hear that the Vatican is no more holy to me than a dumpster. Now this does not mean that I do not appreciate fine Cathedrals, or beautiful Abbeys and Chapels. Rather it means that I believe God can manifest His gracious presence anywhere He so chooses, and He is not impressed by places and times, but instead by humble human hearts.
Okay, so that's what I read in the Book of Isaiah, and I believe it to be so.
"Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,"
Says the Lord.
"But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word."
Yet, human hearts often attach greater importance to one place, or time over another, and I believe that there is a God in this universe Who loves people so desperately that the Divine presence of love, grace, and power will appear to those who yearn for it. Sometimes that search for God in sacred times and spaces yields results not because God honors the place, but the yearning hearts which go there.
So it is that the Spirit of Truth appears on Halloween. People come to the evening of Samhain (pronounced Sow (like cow)-en) believing that the veil between the worlds just might be thinner on this night. They seek like they have not sought before, and perhaps - just perhaps the God of the universe peeks through the veil, and says hi.
Of course, all across my country Christians will hold prayer meetings, and some will fearfully ward off the evil spirits, which they perceive are forming in more organized cohorts than any other day of the year. Their superstitions concerning holy, and unholy times cause them to anticipate demons forming pacts of allegiance against the churches on this one day in the season. Meanwhile, the Witches and Pagans I know celebrate in hopes of touching the other world - that place of gods, goddesses, and spirits of the departed. It is not a place I choose to seek, but I wonder how different it is than my own desire to reach the Unseen God of the universe through His Son Jesus Christ - that is at least from a human level.
They want health. I want health. They want hope. I want hope. They want peace. I want peace. They want their needs fulfilled. So do I. From this simple human perspective we seek the same things. I seek them in Jesus, and I believe that He is the only way to the Father Who loves me. They seek these things through other names, and deities, and it may be that they experience divine goodness from Him they do not know, but Who loves them as much as He loves me.
I do not fear Halloween, but enjoy it. Before I was a Pastor it was simply another day. After I became a Pastor, Halloween became a day in which the veil between people became the thinnest. People were happy, and celebrated in costume. In costume they felt a little freer. They opened their doors to strangers and gave gifts, and knocked on my door and looked for gifts. They did things in family units, and they were open to things unseen. It became a day when the veil between us was thinner.
Now I live in a city where we have a whole month of Halloween. The veil between Christians and Pagans sometimes becomes thicker during this season, because Christians superstitiously fear this day, and the Pagans who celebrate it. I find that this month becomes thinner between myself and my Pagan friends. I am working to make this a time when the veil between the worlds becomes thinner, and they are working for the same thing. We may not agree on how it is done, or on Who we seek, but we do seek blessing together, and in this place we meet, and the veil between us gets thinner. Perhaps the veil to finding the Father will as well.
"Up rises awen from Samhain to Samhain. The spirit of deity rushes my soul like a storm.