Halloween is Nothing to be Afraid of

Do you celebrate Halloween?  Some people go all out for Halloween while others completely oppose it, calling it the celebration of the Devil’s birthday or other bazar ideas.  In reality, Halloween has nothing to do with the devil, at least not in its origins.  What is today known as Halloween was once called All Hallows Eve.  It was the night before what was celebrated as All Saints Day, a day commemorating saints and martyrs of the faith.  Like many of our modern celebrations, different ideas from different celebrations around the world have blended together to make our current holiday traditions. 

All Saints Day was celebrated on November 1st and became blended with an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.  Samhain was the celebration that marked the end of the summer harvest and the beginning of the dark winter months.  It was believed that during this time, spirits from the other worlds could cross over and cause havoc in this realm.  Therefore, people would dress up in costumes to try and scare off the spirits and protect our world.  I know, that is crazy super spiritual ideas, but it was 2000 years ago when people did not know of the Gospel and Christianity was just getting started.  Today, we would call these practices crazy or far-out, but we also would not practice blood letting in today’s world, but it used to be the medicine of the day before people knew better. 

However Halloween got started, and whatever it stands for today, there is no reason to be so afraid of it that we are unable to redeem it.  As a Christian, our calling is to make disciples of all the world.  We do this through evangelism, or telling others of the good news of Jesus Christ.  Door to door evangelism has been the standard practice for many years.  In today’s culture, that practice is carried out far less.  One of the main reasons is our fear of being shunned or even shot at for knocking on someone’s door.  But think about it, on this night, the nations are going to come knocking on your door expecting a trick-or-treat.  Instead of just offering a sugary treat, why not offer them the love of Jesus along with it.  Don’t tell them how demonic their costume is or shame them for dressing as a ghost.  Greet them with a smile and acknowledge them just as Jesus acknowledge Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector.  Be ready with a smile, a piece of candy, and maybe a tract or invitation to join you at your church.  Maybe sit out in your front yard and engage them with conversation and share the Gospel with all you encounter.  Thank God for sending your community to your doorstep and make the most of the times that are fleeting. 

And, if you need something else to make today special, remember, it’s not just Halloween, it’s reformation day!  Thank God today for Martin Luther and his courage to nail his ninety-five theses to the door of the church at Whittenburg.  Thank God for the ensuing protestant reformation that brought us the five solas: scripture alone, faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone, and for the glory of God alone.