This is kind of a wonky day for me. October 31st always is. I’m a protestant turned catholic, with a degree in European religious history that focused primarily on the reformation period and it’s aftermath. I’m also a person who is highly sensitive to the spiritual realm and aware that this is a day when many choose to honor and pay homage to things evil. Plus, I generally hate costumes and masks – they creep me out – something about hiding inside an identity separate from your own, I think, even if it’s cute.
I’m spending today lying low, fighting a bit of a sinus cold, and pondering. Later tonight I’ll put on fairy wings (yes, even though I hate costumes) and go hang out with family, and more specifically with my nieces who I’m sure will be dressed adorably. (I love them enough to put on a costume for them!)
Every year on this date I find myself thinking about the idea of reformation. Regardless of my ever more complicated thoughts and feelings on the issue of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther’s 95 theses nailed to a church door in Germany in 1517, and the unity of the body of Christ, I happen to think that the idea of being reformed is worth considering.
It’s that idea of being made over, made new again. The idea that Christ is ever doing a work of resurrection in us, and in our world, making all things new. It’s an idea I felt strongly as I read through the lectionary this week, specifically the passages from Romans 8. If all creation is groaning and longing for redemption, how can I not do the same?
In the last months I’ve encountered so many broken things – in my life, in the lives of patients, in the lives of family and friends. If I’m so very aware of the brokenness, how then can I not be aware of the need to be made new?
And so tonight, on a night when some will celebrate the darkness, I plan to spend time reminding me of the light. I’m going to look for it in the joy of my niece’s face when she discovers that there is candy to be had when she dresses up adorably and rings a few doorbells. I’m going to look for it in the inevitable moments of laughter that happen when I gather with my siblings. I’m going to look for it in the way I know my niece will love that I am wearing fairy wings. I’m going to look for it as I savor some treats. And I’m going to remember that Christ is working to make all things new. That being re-formed, being made again is a constant and continuous and holy process, and one worth engaging in wholeheartedly.
And I’m going to leave you with this lovely prayer for this day, taken from the Book of Common Prayer, and shared on Facebook by Pete Greig, one of the founders of 24-7 prayer, the group that introduced me to a meaningful life of prayer.