Halloween is fast approaching. Bags of candy will be purchased, costumes will be carefully chosen, and the trick or treating routes will be planned.
I have always loved Halloween. I am not into the scary, horror movie, blood and gore parts that can be associated with Halloween. I like Happy Halloween - cheerful ghost decorations, pumpkin decorating, and cute costumes. I cannot forget the candy of course, one of the best parts of the day!
For a long time, Christians have condemned Halloween as a celebration of evil or pagan things in the world. It is easy to see the day as an unhealthy sugar-fest for kids. We grumble about the teenagers out wandering about in costume, proclaiming they are told old for such childish antics. We roll our eyes at the decorations and candy displays in the store.
I think we have been viewing this holiday with the wrong lens. Halloween is a day where we show children in our communities that we love them. And yes, that includes teenagers too. What could be more Christian than that? Jesus did say let the little children come to me.
Halloween is a day of fun. It is a day to celebrate life in our community. How many other times of the year do we open our door to strangers? A chance to love our neighbors as ourselves through the simple act of passing out candy. There is love that is found in those Reese’s Cups, Twizzlers, and Starbursts. A love for Halloween but, more importantly, a love for all those who arrive on our porch.
As Christians we are called to be the light in the world. Halloween is one of the best reminders, as we see those flickering Jack-O-Lanterns on porches, and lights on costumes. There is no better time to love and serve our neighbors! I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 12:9, “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good (NRSV).” May our love be genuine to all the ghosts, goblins, and witches that arrive on our doorsteps, October 31. Let us hold fast to what is good, the chance to be in community together.
Have a blessed, safe, and Happy Halloween!
Photo: Rev. Amanda Boss First Presbyterian Church Kasson