My youngest child recently confided how she really doesn’t like the goriest Halloween decorations. She’s 11 now and though she’s not scared of them, she’s in good company finding them distasteful. I feel similarly and have no doubt many of you do too.
This conversation led to her first out loud exploration into how we as Christians reconcile our beliefs with observing trick or treat night annually. She’s far from the first or the last person to think through this issue and I believe that’s a good thing.
It’s when we become complacent and apathetic that we lose sight of our moral compass, right? So we choose to tackle the issue head-on and get intentional about following Jesus’ example in how he responded to the lost, lonely, or hurting.
He didn’t fear others and their baggage. He didn’t step back and complicitly become a part of the problem – he stepped foward to implicitly become a part of the solution. Remember WWJD? Yep, it’s (as always) a great time to ask ourselves – What would Jesus do?
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others….” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
For our family, we see occasions to connect with neighbors to be an opportunity to build relationships and spread kindness. So the question of whether to acknowledge Halloween begs a deeper question. How are we supposed to “be a light” if we hide from the darkness?
So why not set up a fire pit and apple cider in the driveway to give something warm and yummy to the moms & dads? Why not embrace an opportunity to grill out for neighbors every Halloween? Can you imagine the conversations that could grow out of fellowship over free drinks, hotdogs and chips, along with candy for the kids? Oh what memories are waiting to be made just through providing a hang out spot for neighbors & friends!
It’s normal to think and re-think over the decisions we make to shepherd our kids in the way they should go. We all want the best for our families, knowing the choices we make today have implications for tomorrow. Knowing your parental influence has eternal significance and will span across generations is incredibly humbling. So when my daughter questioned me on our family’s perspective on Halloween this week, I found myself with another opportunity to reevaluate as I explained – hoping to embrace the teachable moment for us both.
But then I found this article and was encouraged that indeed, Halloween really is just another opportunity to shine the light of Christ, just like every other day! 😉
“I find it interesting that we are to be light in the world, yet on Halloween Christians literally turn off their lights in their house and ignore kids as they come up to their door. Shouldn’t we shine our light even more brightly on Halloween? Isn’t Halloween a Christians dream? Tons of people come together, have fun, and willingly coming to your door. It’s an opportunity to be Jesus to them without having to do anything except buy some candy beforehand and hand it out.” You can read more here for another perspective.
For the Christian, it’s not about winning a culture war. We win through how we engage our neighbors. The fact that scripture says we should live honorably among others means we must indeed be among the lost. I like the way John Piper puts it:
“Being exiles does not mean being cynical. It does not mean being indifferent or uninvolved. The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat. Where it can, it saves and seasons. And where it can’t, it weeps. And the light of the world does not withdraw, saying “good riddance” to godless darkness. It labors to illuminate. But not dominate.”
I’m always interested in the perspective of others! How does your family mark Halloween night? Do you celebrate the same way you did as a child or are you forging a new path for your own family?