Yesterday in Chapel I spoke about Halloween and redemption (clearly connected I know). I started off with some of the history of Halloween as well as some of the misconceptions about the origin of Halloween that have sometimes been propagated within some Christian circles. Basically, Halloween does not have its origin in the Satanic sacrificing of virgins or anything like that. It was essentially a New Years Eve party for the ancient Celtic peoples of
Because of its connection with Pagan practices it became associated with Satan and Demon worship during the Middle Ages mainly b/c the non-Christians still celebrated the Celtic fest (10/31) while the Christians celebrated All Saints Day (11/1). That's mostly why nowadays people dress up in costumes with evil and jacked up themes. Those were the things associated with devil worship in the Middle Ages.
Anyway, the main reason I brought up Halloween was because it is a somewhat divisive subject and it clearly does have some evil things associated with it. Dressing up like witches, demons, and other things associated with stuff that is clearly condemned in scripture is certainly not a good idea. But I wonder, people are sinful and commit evil all the time and yet, they can be redeemed. Can we as God's people redeem things that some have taken and used for evil?
We do this all the time whether we realize it or not. If you and your spouse waited until marriage to have sex than you technically redeemed human sexuality from the way that it is portrayed in the culture. If you've ever taken part in a sporting event and in your mind and heart chosen to enjoy playing because it is a gift from the Lord than you have been a part of redeeming something that in many cases is used for personal glory and pride.
The idea of redemption is kind of a big deal in scripture. It's really the whole theme of the Bible because the idea of redemption is buying something back, remaking it, or using it the way it was originally intended. In Genesis 3 all of the perfection of how Man interacted with God and His creation got really screwed up because of sin. Now Man is really jacked and so is how he views and uses stuff (technical terminology I know).
The beautiful thing about God's plan is that He gives Man the opportunity to be redeemed and made new (2 Cor. 5:17). I really think that along with this comes the ability for Man to redeem or reclaim good things that God has given and to use them in a way that honors Him. That's what makes being a follower of Jesus such a cool thing. Because we have been redeemed (made new again) we have the ability to experience God's creation closer to the way that He originally intended it (it ain't quite there yet...see Rev. 21-22 for future details).
So as the Church let's hop on board with being the worldwide redeem team. Those guys in China were the "redeem team" because they put things right (America = owns everyone else in basketball). Let us live in a way that shows how people and stuff (even Halloween) can be redeemed when the focus is on the Lord Jesus. And let us join with all of creation in looking forward to the redemption that is to come (Rom. 8:23-24) when our bodies and all the stuff around us will be fully and completely MADE NEW!.