Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hallow's Eve

1 Corinthians 10:31, "And whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God."

We used to "celebrate" Halloween until I really understood how it is not pleasing to Christ. My boys have gone trick-or-treating 1 time and it was horrible. They were scared and it was then that I was convicted by the Holy Spirit through the above verse. Now, we allow the children to wear a costume to their preschool fall festival, and then in the afternoon we go visit a local nursing home in their costumes. The residents love it, the kids love it, and I love knowing it brought joy to everyone involved. We no longer go trick-or-treating, and the costumes I permit the kids to wear cannot be evil or scary in any way. This year Th is a robot, Ta is Piglet, and T.G. is a pumpkin. I made Th and T.G.'s costume, and a friend gave me Ta's last year. I'll post pictures tomorrow from their festival at school and from the nursing home. Until then, read the devotion below taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I pray it will open your eyes to the truth behind Halloween.


October 30, 2007

Spooks, Skeletons, and Saints
By Micca Campbell

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 (KJV)

Devotion:
When Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” did He mean for us to include ghost and goblins? I view every Halloween as an opportunity to witness to “the dark side.”

Many Christians don’t know what to do with Halloween. They wonder if they should ignore it; protest against it; go along with it, or find alternative ways to participate without offending their faith. We often reason, nothing good can come from evil so why take part in this holiday? Yet, Joseph tells us in the bible that what is meant for evil God can use for good. In that case, Halloween can be an opportunity for us to do good!

Some of you may be wondering if I’ve been living on a far away planet unaware of what Halloween is. No, I’m very much aware of its meaning and tradition. Before Christ, Halloween was part of the Celtic Feast of Samhain. This Druid priest celebration commemorated the beginning of winter. The Festivals consisted of animal sacrifices to the dead and bonfires in recognition of departed souls. Those who participated in the festival believed that goblins, demons, witches and elves were sent from the world beyond to harass the living. For self-protection, the Druid’s would dress up like ghouls and goblins and involve themselves in demonic activities. They believed participating in this way kept them from being attacked by real witches and demons.

The early church responded by moving All Saint’s’ Day from spring to fall and renamed it Hallows’ Eve. In doing so, Christians used the pagan festival as catalyst in which to proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection. Halloween, for the early church, became a time to evangelize. They took something evil and used it for good. We would do well to follow their example.

Halloween is full of trickery and illusions about mystical powers and the living dead. Christians today can use these illusions in comparison to the truth that Jesus overcame the grave by the power of God and is the true Resurrection and Life. Better yet, those who are in Christ will also conquer the grave and live forever in the presence of God. What good news to share on a dark day!

There are many ways to share the good news of the gospel. My church has a Harvest Party on October 31 every year. The children play games and collect candy while the adults enjoy hayrides and wiener roasts. The most significant part about our party is the gospel room. This is where a drama is presented sharing about the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving power. One way for you to share Jesus with others is to invite an un-churched family to your church’s festival.

Another way to participate if you’re a stay-at-home kind of person is not to turn off the lights and hide as some of us tend to do. Instead, be a shinning light on a dark night. Tie scripture or gospel tracks to some candy and hand it out at your front door with Christ-like love and joy.

If you have the gift of hospitality, then have a Harvest party at your house. Invite friends, family, and neighbors to sit around a camp fire or your living room floor and swap Holy Spirit stories rather than ghost stories.

Halloween is not a time for avoidance. It’s a time to communicate with your children, family, and friends that, “yes,” evil, death and the grave are real, but through Christ, we are more than conquerors over it all. What better time to share this good news with others then when our minds are on such things? It’s an opportunity to take something meant evil and use it for good.

Dear Lord, Give me your perspective on Halloween. Help me to be a shining light on this dark night by sharing about your saving power with my children, family and friends, in Jesus Name, Amen.