I know that a lot of conservative Christians feel that Halloween is not a holiday that needs to be celebrated. It is pagan in it’s origins. A time when spirits roam the earth and witches rule the skies. It celebrates the “darkness” of human life with scary images and horrific experiences that most of us abhor. Gravestones. Boiling pots of magical brew. Strobe lights that crash the mind. Eerie music emanating from the night. Webs of deceit that tangle around our body as much as inside our head. Satanic influences that glorify the ugly sins that happen all too often.
Good reasons one and all.
and this is prayerfully submitted…
It can also be warm family memories. Laughter embed with love. Sweet treats that remind us of special occasions. Choices exist within choices upon this crazy habitat that Our Father designed just for us. I’m sure He hoped, like all of us hope for our children, that we would never experience the pain of sin and sorrow. But…free will allows us to dance around the fires of choice, and all too often we end up getting burnt. BUT…choice also allows us to decide not to stick our extremities in the fire or dance so close that we burn the things we love.
Perhaps because I grew up in the fabled era of the 50’s/60’s…perhaps because I grew up in a small town surrounded by neighbors who acted like extended family…perhaps because horror and fear were an abstract instead of a daily reality…Halloween was more filled with Christ than with the evil one. My Halloweens were filled with a mother who created costumes out of scraps (gotta love her choice of costume for me when I was five)…dark runs through many neighborhoods filled with faces that I knew as well as I knew my family’s…contests with my best friends for apples, candy and costumes…family businesses that handed out miniatures bags of whatever they made…pictures boxes of memories filled with family love.
“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
There is a story in Jewish tradition that tells about a rabbi who went to eat with a poor man and his wife. They had nothing to serve the rabbi except some flour. So the wife went into the woods to find some herbs to enhance the flour that she would serve to the rabbi. As she picked the herbs and spices that Jehovah-Jireh had designed so long ago, she prayed that they would not only nourish their their rabbi but bless him with all the beauty that was once in the Garden of Eden. Later in the week, the rabbi’s wife approached the poor woman and begged her for the recipe of the rabbi’s wonderful meal. The poor woman was stunned. She explained that she had served him only flour, water and some spices. The rabbi’s wife was also stunned. She told the woman that her husband had said it tasted so good that it must of come straight from the Garden of Eden. At that, the poor woman started to cry. She remembered her prayer over the herbs that she had gathered that day. God had heard her prayers and blessed her as much as He had blessed her rabbi.
“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. — Isaiah 41:14
Halloween can still be the pagan holiday of the past. Halloween can still offer monsters and scary demons a chance to dance around in all the gory ugliness that this world has to offer. Halloween can still be the pagan holiday that people create over and over again by their everyday choices. Halloween can still be a time when the evil one rejoices.
Like the poor wife, when we pray…….Halloween can also be something made new because Jesus Christ has brought light into the darkness. It can be another kind of day…another chance for families to gather together and bless the night with LIGHT. A time when LOVE…that brings the moon out from beyond the clouds…reaches beyond hope…passes beyond understanding…and takes over the darkness that the evil one has spread and warms the chilly air that he has brought with its pagan beginnings.
I, for one, am thankful for Halloween and the wonderful memories I have buried in my heart, and all the new memories I am helping to create in the Grands. BUT…most of all…I am thankful for Jesus Christ that lightens the darkness of this world with His love and reminds me to keep looking up and praying over everything I do.