It’s Halloween! Tonight, children from all around the neighborhood and beyond will be knocking on our door and asking us for a treat. We plan to be there to grant them their request.
As in every year, we have seen the commercial buildup to this day from manufacturers and retailers alike. We have shopped around to get the best prices and values on traditional candies guaranteed to frustrate many parents while delighting the kids. We even made a weak attempt to carve a pumpkin.
As usual, I have seen the banter about Christians participating in such a day. There are those who argue that Christians must avoid any and all participation, for such would be mingling with the evil that corrupts young minds. Others see no harm in participation in the Halloween festivities. We choose to take the occasion of Halloween to engage people for Christ and with the Word of light and salvation.
Halloween is a part of our culture, and no one can deny that. When I was growing up, my Godly parents took us trick-or-treating every year, and we never considered it to be evil or wicked. To us it was a night of no homework, pretending we were somebody or something we weren’t, and filling a sack with somebody else’s candy. Regardless of the history of Halloween and its origins, it is part of our culture, and we have three possible responses:
Turn off the lights and pretend we’re not at home
Or we could leave home and avoid the confrontation with the trick-or-treaters. The problem with this position is that God calls Christians to engage the people around us. Jeremiah 29:5-11 recounts a difficult time for the Israelites, God’s chosen people. They had been defeated, their land confiscated, and most had been deported to Babylon, a most wicked city. God tells them to build homes and settle in and seek the welfare of the city. Live in, thrive and impact the wicket culture, and do not allow its wickedness to overtake you.
Jesus teaches Christians to be “salt” and “light” in our culture (Matthew 5:13-16). In other words, He expects us to season our secular society with the love of Jesus and to shed Jesus’ light on its darkness. How can we have an impact on our culture for Christ if we try to become isolated from it? By adopting this isolationist position, we are shirking our God-given mandate to influence our culture for Christ.
Embrace Halloween in the cultural norm
As a Christian, we are called to be different. When people observe us (and they do), there should be obvious differences in the way we conduct ourselves. We are told to live set-apart lives in all our conduct (1 Peter 1:15-16). God sets us apart from the world around us so that we can live as “salt” and “light.” If we become just like the rest of the culture around us, we are disobedient in living a set-apart life having influence among those around us.
Take advantage of the opportunity to engage people
Tonight, we have a golden opportunity. They are coming to us. Many children will be knocking on our door, and we will give them something that could change their lives, as well as the lives of every member of the family. Not only will we drop a piece of candy in each bucket, but we will also give each child a carefully written Bible game or Scripture search designed to introduce them to God’s Truth. By adopting this position, we intentionally engage people coming to our doors with the Word of God without sacrificing our own spiritual integrity.
The children and their families are our primary mission field. Jesus told his disciples that they are His witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the whole earth. My Jerusalem is my neighborhood. My Judea and Samaria are the kids who come to our neighborhood from other parts of town. So, kids, come by our house. We’ll give you a treat, and a Word about eternity!
When they come by your house, what will you give them? How can you take advantage of your opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them? How are you planning to engage your community with Christ on Halloween? I would love to read your ideas and comments.