Well it’s that time of year again, when I gather the loose change I can find in my couch and pockets and spend it all on leftover (read: cheap!) candy on November 1. You can never have too much chocolate…
The Last Day of October
Yes, Halloween is this Friday. Last year, I wrote about Martin Luther and how October 31, 1517 set in motion The Reformation. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Halloween—a day that Satan definitely takes advantage of (naivety check!)—shares this date.
I’m not a huge fan of gruesome costumes and decorations, haunted corn mazes, or thriller cinema. (And can we please be done with zombies? Seriously, it’s time.) But I will readily tell you that I have some fantastic memories of thinking up costumes and going trick-or-treating as a kid! It was fun, it was innocent, and there was nothing wrong with it.
I know Halloween has changed a bit since I last went out for the sugary spoils, but somewhere along the line Christians decided they couldn’t possibly be involved in anything so dastardly. And I’m not sure that was the best idea in the world.
In but Not Of, but Still IN
Don’t get me wrong—there is spiritual warfare in Halloween. Like I said, Satan totally doesn’t let this opportunity slide by. But I’m wondering if taking the Christians—Holy Spirit filled people—out of the scene is really helping. If we’re talking about this in warfare terms, not only have the Christians stopped fighting, but we’ve left the battlefield altogether. We’re nowhere to be found. Can’t fight if you’re not on the field. Can’t win if you’re not fighting. [Watch a short video about this misunderstanding of sanctification from Desiring God here: Open the Door to Halloween.]
I get the whole taking a stand on Halloween thing. But I’m wondering if we might be burning bridges instead of building them. I think it’s possible that sometimes airs of self-righteousness are unintentionally cast, and perceived as judgment: “We don’t do Halloween.” So we vanish from the scene, and the opportunities to build relationships vanish along with us.
I’m not saying you should celebrate Halloween. You don’t have to make it gruesome or devilish or evil. But maybe participate for a bigger purpose.
Have Chocolate, Will Chat
Most parents still dress up their kids in entirely innocent and fun ways. (Count how many Frozen characters are in your Facebook newsfeed this weekend.) And those sweet kids and parents whom Jesus loves are going to come knocking at your door on Friday night. Why not welcome them with open arms and genuine love? (And candy, of course. Chocolate, preferably.) Chat with parents. Offer coffee or hot cider to moms and dads trudging from house to house with no hopes of the loot. Let them know you’re interested in them, and that you love their kids, too. You never know how God might use a conversation on your front porch…
So yes, sharing the love of God could be as easy as giving candy to a baby.
[Image via Cheezburger]