11 Oct 2018
It’s that time of year again when the seasonal aisle in the supermarket is filled with fake cobwebs and pumpkin buckets and Christian parents everywhere wonder whether buying the spooky gingerbread cat is allowed. Let me share three view altering experiences and one Bible verse that I hope will help.
As a child – I hated Halloween. It was forbidden and I was frightened, but also fascinated by what happened at the parties my friends went to in witches costumes to bob for apples and get lots of sweets. We would pretend we weren’t in and I would hide behind the sofa if trick or treaters came to the door.
As an adult, without kids, when we first moved to our new house on a cul-de-sac – I chatted to the neighbours' kids playing on their bikes in the street and asked them what I needed to know about living here. The kids pointed to the houses around and said “They are alright … They are nice … But them ones in there are dead grumpy, they always pretend they aren’t in on Halloween when we know they are, but they knock on our door with the Christian Aid envelopes.” Our only interaction with many of the families on the street is on Halloween – the only time they will knock on our door. They will be watching me go to church and do what I do but this is the one night of the year that they knock on my door! I don’t have to be grumpy. I want them to know that what I have to share and give is what makes me generous. Giving sweets does not mean I think Halloween is wonderful but I want them to get a better impression of what it means to love Jesus.
As a Mum with my own children – I want them to know that they have nothing to fear. We could dress up as whatever we wanted but because we really love Jesus we don’t want to pretend to be people who don’t, even for one night. Because the Bible tells us the truth about what happens when we die, we don’t need to be confused or afraid. So, because we have more to give our neighbours than we have to take, we’ll get a bucket full of sweets, we’ll put our super hero outfits on, we’ll carve a ‘Jesus - Light of the world’ pumpkin, we’ll leap round the living room at our very own pumpkin party and open the door to whoever knocks with a smile – because Jesus lights us up!
Ephesians 5:8 says “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
Remember who you were – you were darkness – you were once far from God, dead to Him, so don’t be superior. We only know better because God has opened our eyes. Those with eyes closed to the things of God need our love and compassion.
Remember who you are – You are light in the Lord – You are made alive, you have His spirit at work in you to live as a light in a dark world. You don’t do that well from behind a sofa, you don’t bring glory to Jesus by hiding. Your neighbours are knocking, so don’t be afraid. Remember who is with you to help you and lighten up – literally! Be the light so that others' eyes may be opened to the wonder of loving Jesus.
Guest blog by Amy Smith