HALLOWEEN

I realize Christians have strong feelings on this event, with a variety of views, and that one can read plenty about it here and elsewhere. Some see it as a missional opportunity; others as participating in something that celebrates darkness.

A little study reveals that “Halloween” is a contraction of “All Hallow’s Eve” – the day before All Saints Day on November 1. It was, and should be, a celebratory day for the Christian Church.

I personally prefer the redemptive approach to Halloween. Your Jehovah’s Witness friends will quickly tell you that we’ve redeemed other dates and symbols in centuries past –including December 25, and the placing of a lovely green and decorated tree in our homes.

As our previous Prime Minister would say, “Let me be perfectly clear:” All days are God’s days. The whole earth is his. Just because some souls seize upon a particular day, and use it to their ends, does not mean the day is lost to the Church. Apart from those who enjoy the trends towards Zombies and horror, some may even celebrate evil itself on October 31; this makes it no less God’s day than any other.

Does the modern, popular, incarnation of All Hallow’s Eve contain elements that glorify evil and darkness? Yes, of course. Does the modern, popular, incarnation of the Christ-mass contain elements that, (though wrapped up in the golden paper and bows of materialism,) also glorify evil? Yes, of course.

Must we, as the Church, completely avoid events that some will use for nefarious purposes, or may we participate and redeem the day? I prefer redemption. As others have noted, Halloween is the one day of the year when the mission field comes knocking on the doors of Christ-followers.

I pray that, despite the darkness others may choose to celebrate, the Christian home will be a place of gracious reception, great light (in both senses), with the biggest and best treats on the street, distributed with a generosity that should be natural to every follow of Christ.

Let children and their parents look forward to their visit to your home. Dress your children in fun costumes, as befits those who redeem, instead of capitulate. Go meet your neighbours. Make the most of every opportunity. Look for God in every moment, for in everyone you meet, the Holy Spirit is already at work. S.D.G.

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