There’s no way around it for me anymore. I can’t pass off the horror images associated with Halloween today as anything other than evil. Does anyone really imagine than an 8-year old should trick or treat dressed up as an ax murderer? All in jest of course! Have we lost our minds when we lost our heads?
As I said yesterday this all leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that evil is real and evil comes from an Evil One, a devil, Satan as Christians call him.
Jesus took the Devil seriously. In the prayer he taught his followers he concluded with “Deliver us from the Evil One.” The old translations usually say, “…from evil,” but they are inaccurate. A more accurate rendering is “from the Evil One.” Personal, as in with a Persona and a will and a mind and intent.
But while Jesus acknowledged the reality of a spirit being at loose in the world wreaking havoc and making trouble – real trouble – he also didn’t panic in the face of this foe. He stood ground and taught his followers to do the same. Jesus prayed and then stood. That’s to be our posture, I believe.
Yes, the world is crippled by evil. Yes, evil as a face and a name and mission. But evil and the Evil One do not have the last word. The last word is Jesus. And while the faces of Halloween may stomp and muster up the dust of fear and misery, we need never yield to fear or misery. We can pray and “Deliver us from the Evil One,” then rest well.
There’s an urban legend told of Martin Luther, the 16th century Christian leader. Supposedly he was attacked one night in his bed with horrible dreams, terrors, and the like. As he woke he felt the presence of a terrible Force in his room. When he dared open his eyes he saw a shadowy figure standing at the foot of his bed. The shadow turned and there stood Satan himself. Luther, still in a sweat breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh, it’s only you.” Then he rolled over and went back to sleep!
When you’re afraid of evil and the Evil One, pray in faith the words Jesus taught… Then roll over and go back to sleep!
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