Saturday, November 01, 2008

Another Holiday Somewhere in South America

November 1st is a holiday where we live. It's All Saints Day. Had this day fallen during the week, schools and businesses would have closed, for the most part. It's that important to some here.

So what goes on? What do people do on All Saints Day? I can't speak for all parts of the world. But here, entire families often go to the cemetery where their departed loved were buried. Often musical bands will be in the cemeteries. The families makea big party out of the event. They bring food, flowers, and beverages. Strong beverages. Intoxicating beverages. They will place the flowers and plates of the deceased's favorite food, and pour them a drink. Then the living family members will often begin to drink along with them. The particpants drink themselves drunk. They dance, tell tales, and drink some more.

This morning, our house helper showed up early--8 AM. She told us that the streets were filled with drunks. I asked if she was speaking of her neighborhood, some 90 minutes away from here. She told me that yes, in that part of the city they were drunk; but right in front of my house the local security personnel had loaded up several who were drunk. Fights, she said, broke out all over. Men fighting men, women fighting women (I have seen the same, as well).

Seeing such a sight is heartbreaking. There is no way I can convey the images through words. Men and women alike pour themselves into this raucous carnival-like event. God is dishonored. Christ is ignored. He is mentioned, but only the most perfunctory manner. After all, it's All SAINTS Day. It's not about Jesus. It's about the dead.

I see little root difference between this kind of celebration and that of ancestor worship. I am pretty sure the same devil dreamed up both of them. And I am fully persuaded that God is not honored in either.

Why does it happen? It's because mankind has set up false gods to satisfy his desire to live free from the God of glory. Mankind seeks a means to justify his life; this is just another of many false truths circulating around the world.

May we seek the living Lord, not celebrate the dead!

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