Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween again

Halloween was a no-brainer before we had children. to do: buy a bunch of candy, toss it out to the cuties that came to your front door, eat the rest, and carve a happy face in a pumpkin. 

but now that our children are involved, i found myself wondering "what are we doing?" "why are we doing this?" and mostly "where is Jesus in it all?"

Halloween is an especially fun time of year for dressing up because everyone is doing it. however, there is a lot of other junk that everyone else is doing this time of year that we don't do. we keep the focus on dressing up, pretend play, painting pumpkins, and good, clean fun. we don't go to strangers houses asking for candy. i actually don't even use the word Halloween, except when referring to "that holiday" the world is celebrating and we are not. 

the only ghost we speak of is the Holy Ghost. there is no such thing as witches or goblins. pumpkins are friendly, skeletons are human bones, bats are nocturnal, and spiders eat mosquitos. Halloween, in our home, is a time for dressing up and eating candy with friends. no evil connotations. no spooky stories. no haunted houses. for God hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a peaceful mind. (2 Tim 1:7) and believe me, there is nothing peaceful about some of the costumes and decorations out there. 

there is one thing i do every year at Halloween time: i pray that my children will not be confused or scared by the worldly traditions. i pray they know what is true, what is noble, what is right, in the sight of the Lord. (Phil 4:8)    

Halloween at our home has been different year to year. there was one year when we passed out candy that had scriptures printed on the wrappers. last year we turned off our lights, drew our curtains closed, and hid in the living room pretending nothing was going on on our neighborhood streets. this year we opened our door to strangers and gave out candy with little invitations to our church taped to the back.

i'm a "make the most of it" kind of mama. hiding behind closed curtains and a dark front porch last year just felt wrong. i know my neighbors are diverse in culture and customs, and probably a lot of them don't know Jesus. the more i thought about this missed opportunity, the more it hurt my heart. there were probably children dressed as adorable little devils walking along my sidewalk who have never heard the name Jesus. it could have been me who told them. this post from Joy in this Journey really helped me decide what to do this year.

i can't pretend the world isn't celebrating Halloween. but i can make the most of it. we are called to be the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13) and we are called to shine as lights in the world (Phil 2:15). when potential non-believers come a-knockin' on my door this year, a simple invitation to our church will be placed in candy buckets, and i'll say a little prayer asking Jesus to knock on the doors of their hearts.  

and when i get to heaven, i look forward to meeting the souls who met Jesus in my neighborhood on Halloween night.

what is Halloween like at your home?