|Not the Walmart display. This is just an example from the internet.|
We arrived at the Walmart on Friday, grocery lists in hand. After selecting a cart, I walked through the sliding entrance door and froze in the entryway. To my right was a huge altar set up for the Day of the Dead. Death bread. Drinks. Foods. Dishes. Decorations. And the crowning jewel, a huge skeleton in a frilly dress, grinning wickedly at me underneath a gigantic hat. Shivers raced up and down my spine as I stared in utter horror at this display.
Of course, I'd heard of the Day of the Dead before. There is even a growing cult here in Mexico of people who worship Santa Muerte. Widely celebrate in the Catholic church, people will set up altars in their homes with special items deceased loved ones enjoyed in life. The idea? That the spirits of these loved ones will come back and enjoy a feast in their honor. Here in Mexico, November 1 is commonly used for deceased children and November 2 for adults. And this is not the only country to have a day set aside for the dead; many other countries have similar days as well.
|A representation of Santa Muerte|
Here, between Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations, the focus is largely on death. We choose not to participate in these, but to celebrate life instead. On Saturday, we've invited some of our neighbors to a harvest party at our neighborhood park. We are going to have games, food, candy, a Gospel-centered object lesson with a pumpkin, and a presentation of the Gospel. We want to share with the people around us that they don't have to be so death-focused. They can instead receive Life everlasting.
Our favorite verse is John 10:10b: "I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly."
Worshiping the dead will only leave us feeling empty instead. Like one who is dead.
There is only abundant life in the living Christ. And that is the message I want to share this week to our neighbors. Won't you please pray with me that we can be a light in the spiritual darkness in Mexico?