Dia de los Muertos

Luke 6:21b (NRSV) from the Revised Common Lectionary – Nov. 1, 2019

[Jesus said to his disciples,] “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

Today, November 1, is Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, in Mexico, Central America, and the United States. This day is a time to remember and honor those loved ones who have died. It is also a day to encourage the artistic expression of the living. Many years ago I arrived in Mexico City on this day. The city streets were filled with people wearing ofrendas, costumes. I was startled by the sight, like being dropped into a parade. My driver kindly explained. My lesson was that death’s sting need not linger. Much as Jesus taught his disciples, our weeping, our mourning, will become laughter, if we believe. To this point, within the sanctuary of the home, many celebrants will set up modest altars topped with pictures of their loved ones now gone, but there is no weeping. The occupants, before the shrine, celebrate the life of their loved ones with foods and mirth. Remembering today’s passage, though they were once weeping with grief they have been encouraged by Jesus to be joyous with laughter. By no means did Jesus want his followers to be consumed with grief over his death or any death. As Paul wrote to the people of Thessalonica, “That you may not grieve as others do … the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord.”[1] Who are you willing to celebrate this day?

“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.” Jewish proverb

[1] 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (ESV)

About Pastor Steve

Pastor Steve Hodges is an ordained minister, pastoring a church in central Virginia.
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