Today is the Day of the Dead. While that sounds like a horror film title, it is actually a holiday primarily celebrated in Mexico. The day is also recognized by many others, particularly those of the Catholic faith, as All Souls' Day. Worldwide on November 2nd, millions of people devote some time to remembering friends and other loved ones who have died. That may sound strange. Most of us like to avoid conversations about death like the plague. (Should we now change that well-known phrase to "like COVID"?) Avoidance will not, however, make death disappear. It's here to stay until Jesus sets all things right.
According to a source I found with a quick Google search, around 60 million people die each year. While 80 million more births than deaths occur each year, 60 million is a lot of death. So why avoid the subject? Today let's think a little bit about death. Specifically, let's think about people we know and for whom we are thankful who have died. Your mom? Your grandfather? Your high school teacher? Your football / hockey / baseball coach? Your childhood pastor? Your piano / guitar / violin teacher?
I find no biblical evidence to believe that those whom you remember are watching you or smiling at your achievements. (Ever wonder why many people who believe that do not mention their deceased loved ones looking down on their failures and sadness?) Warning: this may sound harsh - Those who are with Jesus have better things to do than watch over us. Glorifying the King of kings, for example.
While they aren't watching over us, they are worthy of our attention. On this Day of the Dead, don't either ignore it all together or join in on strange "religiousish" superstitious practices. Rather than those misuses of All Souls' Day, take some time to think about those men, women, and children who are no longer with you and the helpful, wise, and lovely things you learned from them. You would not be who you are today without those who influenced you along the way. Then use the Day of the Dead as a day when you go out and live in light of what they taught you.
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