Monday, October 28, 2013

The Dead Shall Live
Marigold flowers are used in large quantities
Yesterday began el día de los muertos (day of the dead) in Mexico.  It is actually almost a full week when people remember their dead, cleaning their tombs and setting up altars.  I have read many opinions about how día de los muertos is a wonderful way for people to remember their loved ones and how children grow up without fear of death, because they learn to see it as a natural part of life.  To a casual observer, perhaps this looks true.  Pretty flowers, freshly painted graves, offerings and altars, families passing the day at graveyards, cleaning the tombs and picnicking there.

 But just as pretty wild flowers hide piles of trash and graffiti around Huejotzingo, so do these practices hide some ugly truths.
The altars are built in people´s homes with offerings of what the dead person used to favor in life.  The families who set up the altars invite the spirits of their dead to return for a visit during the día de los muertos.  People put crosses of marigold petals outside their doors so that the spirits can find their way.  However, the Bible is clear that we should  not call on the spirits of the dead;  in the Old Testament, those who consulted the dead were condemned to death.
Simply talking with people shows that the fear of death is just as strong in Mexicans as it is anywhere else.  Although children grow up visiting graveyards each year, the familiarity with death´s reality does not remove fear.&nbsp
This coming Sunday we will celebrate life in the children´s club.  We will tell the story of Ezequiel 37 in the valley of bones. "The Lord put his strong hand on me. His Spirit brought me away from my home. He put me down in the middle of a valley. It was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them. I saw a huge number of bones in the valley. The bones were very dry. The Lord asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Lord and King, you are the only one who knows.” he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them, ‘Dry bones, listen to the Lord’s message. The Lord and King speaks to you. He says, “I will put breath in you. Then you will come to life again. Then you will know that I am the LORD."  

What a beautiful message of LIFE!  Please pray with us that the children receive the light and life of Jesus within them, and that they share the message with others.   Pray that the fear of death can be swallowed up in the assurance of eternal life in Christ for those who believe in him as the only Lord and Savior.

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