In a world that has been struggling with severe economic problems, devastating disasters, and wars, the advertisements and retail displays of frightening Halloween costumes and spooky party supplies have seemed a bit excessive to me this year. The world's economic and political situation seems scary enough without adding to it.
I realize that the ghosts, skeletons, and demons are all in fun, and I do appreciate the joy that children and the young at heart get out of the holiday. But right now, celebrating the "Father of lights," as the book of James describes God, has more appeal to me, because this focus on good can bring healing to our world.
In the Bible, light always points to the presence of God. God is not just the only power. His omnipresence means that good is present everywhere. And all good comes to each of us from God, through the operation of His laws. Evil, whether it takes the form of a scary balance sheet or a lost job, is not an actual entity. It has no kingdom and no king. It has no mind, no presence, and no laws. The only power it can ever assume is what it derives from humans' willingness to believe in it.
Since God is infinite good, He knows good and nothing else. Evil, mental darkness – anything that lessens our spiritual sense of who we are as God's children – is powerless. Good and evil cannot mingle any more than light and darkness can. One vanishes in the other's presence.
Each of us can be a light in the darkness, no matter where we live or what we do for a living. We shine light by recognizing God as Love and knowing that divine Love is present for us and for everyone. This changes how we think and live. Then it becomes more natural to obey this guidance from Christ Jesus: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).
Jesus was tempted three times by the devil, and by overcoming those temptations, he surely glorified God. The Bible then tells us that "the devil left him, and angels came and attended him" (Matt. 4:11, New International Version). Angels! What if we changed the darkness for the light of goodness – with, let's say, angels?
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, described angels in a lovely way: "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 581). Angels lead people to good works, through the good thoughts they accept. These good works have their source in God, in all that is pure, good, and holy. The purity of our consciousness is where God works, because it is open to the light. Creation operates on this basis of divine Love. Where God's light shines, Love becomes an irresistible force for good, which unites and never divides or harms.
Where good thoughts of Love shine, there is no room for hatred. God turns dark corners into places where the light of His infinite goodness destroys all that is unlike itself. This light brings God's blessings and dispels darkness and fear, no matter what form they take.
Pure Love shining in our consciousness opens us up to noble works and a ministry of good to others. Through Love, people can overcome evil with good. This is the light we can all shine and celebrate.