Awwww, the fall air, the leaves, and pumpkin spice everywhere. There are certain traditions this time of year and holidays such as Thanksgiving (which I am assuming is quite different for some.)  There is also my favorite which is “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” So, as crazy as this sounds, even though I own two copies of this masterpiece, my one favorite part is that I still manage to sit down and watch it every year. My sister and I would bring down our sleeping bags and watch it on the floor in front of the TVs that used to sit on the floor (our version of big screen TV.) One of my favorite scenes was when Snoopy challenges the Red Baron (and for us older folks that became a whole record album by The Royal Guardsmen.) I still laugh extremely hard at that scene.

One year I noticed they managed to cut something out something due to commercials and I think people complained. One thing that amazed me is how the Peanut characters are not scared. Fear always comes around this time of year, sometimes in a fun way. Other times in a real way. We cannot let others impose fear on us and being fearful of things that do not need to be feared. I once had a friend say to me, there is a huge difference between fear and being cautious. Most fear is unnecessary, and unfortunately, today people use it against us. This is not human, not even the slightest bit. The Frankenstein monster had more feelings than some people who have evoked these fears.

One of my favorite historic events happened on October 31, 1938. Orson Welles(no relation to H.G. Wells) decided to take a simple story about aliens attacking earth and turn it into a radio broadcast . The actual radio play was written by a man named Howard Koch. Orson and Howard needed a town in which all of this could take place. They threw a pencil on a map and wherever the point hit was where the “alien attack“ was going to happen. It landed on Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, a little town outside of Princeton, New Jersey. (There is a plaque there, and as a geek, of course, I had to go see it ). 

A big problem was that no one heard the warning before the broadcast that this was a fake or a dramatization of the story. During a commercial break in the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy show, people tuned into Orson’s broadcast. Since they did not hear the warning beforehand, people thought aliens were really attacking the earth. The whole United States went crazy. In Grover’s Mill they shot at a water tower, people backed out of their garages without opening the garage doors, and my one neighbor remember exiting a movie theater to see everyone running around in a panic. One of the reasons people panicked was that Germany was on the rise and people did not know if they had something to do with this.

When the broadcast ended , Orson and his cast were placed under “house arrest.“ Years later, Orson and H.G.Wells met and H.G. thought about how clever what Orson had done with his work was.

So here’s my point, if we heed warnings beforehand and listen, fear cannot conquer because we can be cautious and not play into it. If we trust our own feelings and gut instinct, good will triumph over fear. We have a God that protects us and knows our fears before we even do. Remember it is just fear, it is just there, we don’t have to let ourselves be controlled by it . Orson Welles said this at the end which I think is the perfect metaphor:

“So, goodbye everybody, and remember the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. It’s Hallowe’en.”
 Blessings in your journey,
 Pastor Jonathan