Each year, it becomes more and more apparent that Halloween is a big deal. I see neighbors around us setting up their Halloween decorations weeks in advance. Dedicated Halloween stores pop up in all sorts of vacant store fronts, and haunted houses fill otherwise rundown homes. It seems like Halloween has become the new Christmas for many.
The irony in all of this is that Halloween is originally a Christian holiday and December 25th was traditionally a non-Christian holiday. Early on, the Christian faith didn’t celebrate Jesus’ birth. We don’t know exactly what date Jesus was born, but we selected December 25th, in part so Pagans converting to the Christian faith would be able to continue some of their family traditions, but with Christian emphasis.
Halloween is “All Hallows’ Eve” when faithful Christians would commemorate their loved ones who died in the faith and are awaiting the resurrection. Halloween is the night before All Saints’ Day — think of it as Christmas Eve.
I would like to see us, as Christians, be as excited about reclaiming Halloween as we are about keeping “Christ” in Christmas. How can we keep Christ present at Halloween? Below are a few ideas to get the juices flowing:
- Pray – Anytime we engage the world for God we want to lead with prayer!
- Participate – You are the presence of Christ in the world. When Christians disengage from the culture, the culture ends up without Christ. Walk with your neighbors, sit outside and chat with the grown-ups. Be at the door ready to go!
- Be Generous – Too often, we as Christians try to be “good” at Halloween and give out Christian brochures or pennies so teeth don’t rot. What if we gave out “good” candy and had a great attitude?
- Be Neighborly – Know your neighbors, and when they comment on your great candy or awesome costume or decorations, you can keep building your relationship.
- Let Christ Be Evident – If you live for Christ, people will know. Neighbors see your good attitude and your bad habits. Don’t be “too good” to hang with your neighbors. Meet them where they are and show them what it looks like to love God.
Hopefully, this helps as you consider how to reclaim Halloween and let God work through you this Fall!
Pastor Erik Gauss