By God’s kind providence, we find ourselves at the end of another month. Saturday marks something much more significant than Halloween as we know it. On the 31st of October 1517, Martin Luther famously posted his 95 theses (arguments, discussion points, and grievances) on the door of his church in Wittenberg, Germany, launching the era we call the Reformation. Regardless of your particular church membership, it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the significant developments that came through that moment in history. Before, during, and after are all part of our story, and this weekend gives us more reminders and reasons for celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. While we’re at it, we might want to remember that the more significant holiday in the life of the Christian church historically is November 1, All Saints (or Hallows, Holy Ones) Day. That’s why we have a name for the 31st–All Hallow’s Eve (abbreviated Hallow’s E’en, or Halloween). Yes, it was ours first. This Sunday, remember the many believers, brothers and sisters that the Apostle Paul refers to as saints, who have gone before us in the faith into glory to be with Christ. When we worship together, we join the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) through the ages, part of one holy church. Praise be to God. Now that’s a great reason for a holiday–no tricks, all treat.
Sometimes looking at things from another angle can completely change our perspective. In many ways, that parallels an important set of tools we hope to give to our students–the ability to evaluate, discuss, observe, enjoy, and hold the objects of their study up to the light for another angle and a better look. Classical Christian education should help them bend down on their hands and knees to spot the little pebbles with wonder and love, and then ascend to dizzying heights to see what they could never see on the ground. The pebbles are small ideas, spelling rules, cell structures, and uniform policies, greetings in the hallway, prayer, homework, and a thousand other little things where we can practice faithfulness and wonder down low. At the same time, the view from up above paints a picture that’s much harder to remember with our feet on the ground, a view where we can better understand how things fit into the bigger scheme. Wonder of wonders, God holds all these views (and more!) at the same time!
Sometimes we can get focused on the little pebbles in our doorways and forget that the aerial view still holds true, and our ever-present God continues to tell and build our story in Christ in a landscape across time and space that even angels desire to look into. Thanks be to God for His glorious gifts to us. Thank you for another great month. Keep the faith, be faithful in the little things, take time to marvel at the bigger picture, and join with all the saints (it’s All Saints Day!) in those wonderful virtues of faith, hope, and love with your families this weekend.