Why do I celebrate today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Every Halloween some people always get on Facebook and talk about how Halloween is the day of the devil. Color me skeptical that the devil is really honored when kids put on funny costumes and pretend they’re superheroes and princesses and go door to door asking for candy. One would think the grand master of darkness would want more. Also, I have no indication that this is a sort of gateway drug to full-fledged satanism.
So tonight, I will likely be out on the seminary with several students. One of them is going to let me borrow a lawn chair and I have bags of candy to give to trick-or-treaters. Yes. I am calling it that. You can go and say “Our church doesn’t celebrate Halloween. We have a harvest festival instead.” Bull. You’re not celebrating a harvest and everyone knows it.
Now this doesn’t mean that anything goes on Halloween. Are there some things I would not dress up as and would not want my kids if I had them to dress up as? Sure. For me, I’m simply wearing my Smallville T-Shirt as my usual outfit is to go out as Clark Kent from Smallville, my favorite series. To quote Romans, let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Is the day usually associated with death? Yes. It’s a reminder to me that when the day is seen as a pathway to getting candy, that death is not really treated as a threat and really, it isn’t, not if you’re a Christian. Death is a defeated foe. Christ conquered. Christ is the Lord of every day. The devil is not the Lord of Halloween. Jesus Christ is the Lord of Halloween and every other day.
That also in turn reminds me that Jesus is Lord over all the days that I consider sucky days. Was Jesus Lord the day that the divorce papers from my ex-wife came in the mail and I signed them? Yep. Was He Lord the day that I learned I was officially divorced? Yep. You have your own days that are sucky days. When you look back, Jesus is Lord even of those days.
So I plan then on making this day not be a sucky day for the children, and just in case, I also made sure to get candy I liked so that if no one got any, I would be able to enjoy it myself. (And that’s Reeses because any candy with peanut butter is good.) If you’re one being a sort of Halloween Scrooge, if anything, children are likely learning from you what they don’t want to be like, and you might want to consider if you’re really not acknowledging fully that Jesus is the Lord of this day.
Also, please don’t be the one who gives out gospel tracts. Kids won’t care about those. If you give out candy, you give out the best candy that you can on the block. Halloween is for children. Let them be children.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)