I praise God for Halloween!
As a child, our family did the whole “Halloween thing”. While we didn’t decorate like the folks in our neighborhood today, with webs and tombstones and lights and skulls, we did make jack-o-lanters and dress up and pass out candy. It was a fun night to get candy and hang out with friends. My wife Heather, on the other hand, never celebrated it at all. And once we had children, we had to have a serious heart-to-heart about whether our children would celebrate Halloween. Our prayerful solution was to use the day for ministry. When our kids’ schools had Halloween parties, we took the kids out and went to the pumpkin patch for the day, sparing no expense to make it a fun and memorable day with family. We carved pumpkins as a parable (God grows us, takes the goop (sin) out of us through Jesus Christ, makes us a new creation, and puts His light inside us). We gave out candy with an evangelistic bent (give out Reisen candies with a note saying “Jesus is the Reisen we love you guys.” Or give out Lifesaver candies with a note saying, “Jesus was my Lifesaver.” Corny, but we tried!) And our kids didn’t dress up or go door to door until they were in Middle School at which point they were given the choice. Most chose to continue our tradition rather than trick-or-treat.
And the reason for this counter-cultural stance was this verse from 1 John. “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” Halloween celebrates the exact opposite of all we proclaim in our gospel. We need look no further to find a clear way to live out our faith in a counter-cultural manner. Is it sinful to celebrate Halloween? That’s not the point. The point is what better way to live in a way that opens conversation about our faith? Our kids lost nothing because of this. And we gained A LOT of opportunities to share our faith.
Is it any wondering why I praise God for Halloween?