It’s that time of the year! Leaves are falling, harvest is almost over (just kidding, farmers!) and soon kids will dress-up in all kinds of costumes as they go door-to-door, hunting for candy.
I have a lot of great Halloween memories. Wearing one of those costumes with the plastic mask that always seems to cut your tongue. Building a Ghostbusters costume out of pop bottles and vacuum cleaner parts. Finding ways to fit my costume over a winter coat so I could trick-or-treat in the snow. Planning the best route through my neighborhood to make sure that we went to all of the houses that gave out the best candy.
You may be surprised to hear that Halloween didn’t get its start from pagan or Celtic roots (don’t believe everything you read on the internet!). Halloween and its fun traditions actually come from a very old Christian celebration, sometimes called All Hallows Eve, or All Saints’ Day or All Souls’ day.
Not everyone is as excited for Halloween as I am. Some wonder if Christians should even participate in this event. Shouldn’t the scary nature of ghouls, ghosts and witches make us uncomfortable?
What might a Christian response to Halloween look like? Do we turn off our lights, refuse to buy candy (or just keep it for ourselves) and hope that no trick-or-treaters come by our door? What would Jesus have us do?
I think that all Christian responses start with Christ: How would Jesus respond? How would Jesus love in this situation? How can we express Jesus’ Kingdom ethics of loving God and loving our neighbor?
I am saddened that sometimes Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for. I believe that Halloween is a fantastic opportunity for Christians to show their neighbors how much we care.
We can dress up, have fun, carve pumpkins and give out the best candy! We get to meet our neighbors and their kids as they come to our doors.
What if Christian homes became the houses that kids would plan to come to every year — because we were so fun, friendly, and loving and because we gave out the best candy?
This year, our church (Beatrice Mennonite Church) is going to do our best to be a fun and loving neighbor. We’re going to have a Trunk Or Treat at 1220 Summit St. from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., with grilled hot dogs, hot chocolate and lots and lots of candy!
We’d love for you to stop by while you trick-or-treat this year.
And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be the pastor dressed as Chewbacca.