For many followers of Jesus, there’s a bit of an internal struggle when Halloween rolls around each year. I speak from personal experience on this. Because of the imagery of evil spirits and the occult, many families like the one I grew up in abstained from any Halloween activity.
When this celebrated and marketed secular event crosses our path, and we have kids who would love to be dress up in a fun costume and collect candy from neighbors… what’s a bewildered parent to do?
Seemingly to the rescue, I have noticed churches and other groups providing alternatives to Halloween often called “harvest festivals.” Foregoing all typical October 31st evil imagery, these events give kids a chance to dress up, play games, and have some fun in a more “positive” setting. When my kids were young I took them to a few of these “safe zones” and I think they had fun. I believe many churches see it as an outreach opportunity.
The last few years my wife and I have tried to be more active neighbors. Instead of hiding inside of our house on Halloween, weather permitting, we’ll likely be outside. Our plan is to have some hot water with packets of cider, cocoa, coffee & tea… and yes, even some full size candy bars for anyone who just happens to stop by. We may have a game or two going as well.
For me, it’s not about Halloween… it’s really about meeting people where they are at, being neighborly, and sharing a little love in a world that needs some light.
Whatever you decide to do as a family around Halloween is certainly up to you… I clearly have been on both ends of the spectrum. As a Jesus follower I do think there are worthy things to take stand against in our culture. May God grant all who ask for the wisdom and strength to “do the next right thing.”
Hey, can’t wait for Thanksgiving to get here!