I just finished stage managing “Sleepy Hollow, the Musical.” The title itself gives way to things that go bump in the night, yet there is the relief of turning this scary tale into a fun filled musical. Halloween happens this week and as Anoka, MN is the first city in the world to actually celebrate this holiday as a time of festivity, there have been parades, costumes and decorations galore for the past month or so. Tours of haunted houses in the area are held prior to the holiday. I seem to be inundated with spooks.
The next show I stage manage is Arthur Miller’s, “The Crucible.” That doesn’t happen until January of 2020, so I have a little time to recover from all this scary stuff. In the meantime, I’m doing some research on the history of the Salem witch trials which between 1692 and 1693. At the time of that writing, the United States was on its own witch hunt of sorts for communists in the famous McCarthy hearings of the 20th century.
So as you see, all this spooky stuff has been playing out in my mind lately. I do believe that Satan is alive and continues to use his wiles to cause people to stray from the truth. He messes with minds and creates doubts, tries desperately to lure us from God’s path, and join him in his misery. I am also confident, that Jesus’ death and resurrection defeated the devil a long time ago, so his power is limited.
Still there has always been an interest in the occult, in fortune telling, devil worship, witchcraft and evil. As long as we live on this side of eternity, we will see Satan’s minions working hard to steal hearts.
This is also a time when we celebrate the Protestant Reformation. About a hundred years prior to the witch trials in Massachusetts, the church of Rome was under scrutiny for selling indulgences as a vehicle to buy the way to heaven. The church was corrupt. People were being misled. Several voiced their opinions and were chastised and went to trial for their “heresy.” The result of breaking from that corruption, created many sects and denominations.
America’s history is filled with a lot of spooky stuff, but it isn’t limited to the past. Superstition is still practiced. There are still covens, witches and warlocks. There is a whole group that focuses on the walking dead. Evil is in our schools, our churches, our communities, but has become acceptable by all who choose to be tolerant of all kinds of behavior.
Even though our world is filled with evil, we have the promise of salvation. Now more than ever, we need the truth of God’s Word – another reformation of sorts. Martin Luther wrote many hymns in his life, but the one that remains as the battle hymn of the Reformation is just as necessary as it was then. This verse, in particular should calm our fears of all the evil that infests the world.
From “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” by Martin Luther:
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.