As a child my favorite holiday was Halloween. Yes, it was about the candy. My sister and brother and I would carry pillow cases from door to door in our neighborhood and then gather in the living room and compare our bounty. It was more than candy, however.  Although as a child I could not have articulated this, for a night we got to act out our dreams. We put on our fears and hopes and fantasies and knocked on our neighbors’ doors to see how they would react. “Trick or Treat?” “No or Yes?” “War or Peace?” “Division or Community?” 
    Halloween in many ways is both a test of and an invitation to community. Can we go to strangers’ houses to see if they will welcome the stranger who looks scary? When you open your door and see someone surprising, can you see beyond the mask and offer a token of peace? Can we get our fears and our hopes in front of us so we can see them, and recognize them as our own and then recognize them as part the wider neighborhood and as part of us? Can we share what we have with one another?
    Decades ago Jo and our son and I spent a year in Portugal. One of the common observations from Portuguese who had been in America was the absence of a common green in the USA. “You stay in your boxes instead of coming to a square where you can walk and talk” they’d say. Of course, in 1984 Portugal was a very homogeneous culture. Making community here is more complex. However, as Christians who celebrate Holy Communion as the core of who we are, our calling is to call a society who is afraid to come out of their boxes to open our doors to our hopes and fears; to face the stranger who looks at least different if not scary; and to give them a token of friendship.
    Even if we don’t go Trick or Treating next week, let us observe Halloween by opening our doors and our lives to those who look like our hopes and fears. Then they will take off their masks and All Hollow’s Eve becomes All Saints Day and we see the face of the Lord.