“Mommy, what are you going to be for Halloween?”
I could hardly wait to hear the answer and inched a little closer to the costume rack. Yes, I was eavesdropping, but that’s what writers do.
“I think I’ll be a witch,” the young mother said, and placed a pointed black hat on her head.
“A witch! But you’re so pretty, and witches are ugly. I want to be a butterfly.”
And there you have it. Two very different ways of thinking about Halloween.
I struggled with those two conflicting ideas myself for a long time and know many other Christians do too. Then I did some homework, heard some reliable preaching on the subject, prayed, and have come to this conclusion.
1. To begin with, the term “Halloween” has nothing to do with pagan or evil beliefs.
When we say the Lord’s prayer, we say, “Hallowed be Thy name.” What we’re saying with those words is “Hallowed, or holy” is the name of the Lord. The term Halloween is like that. It’s a word morphed from a Christian festival known as “All Hallows Eve” or All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 1. Without going into all the background on All Saints’ Day let me say it’s a day when Christians remember and honor the lives of other believers in Christ who have gone to their heavenly reward. It’s kind of like Memorial Day with a spiritual twist.
So, like Christmas eve, the evening before Christmas, the eve before All Hallows Day, became a mix of the two words and ended up as Halloween.
2. Halloween was originally created in a conscious attempt to provide an alternative to the Druid idea that the end of summer and the coming of the dark days of winter was a time when evil spirits rejoiced and played nasty tricks. The way to escape attack by these evil spirits was to assume disguises and look like evil spirits yourself. Hence, the idea of wearing scary costumes.
3. Like other Christian holidays, Halloween was hijacked a long time ago.
It didn’t take long for the lure of the dark side with its costumes of horror and tales of terror to find its way into the market place. Halloween is big business and it’s not going away anytime soon.
4. I don’t see any lasting benefit in ignoring a holiday I can’t keep from existing all around me. I have to remember that many of the people celebrating Halloween are unaware of its roots. And though I can’t educate every trick or treater who rings my door bell, I can educate others as the opportunity presents itself. So, I pray for moments when I can share God’s protection, provision and purpose for our lives, especially with the children in my life.
- We are not just skin and bones. We are spiritual beings. There is a spiritual world where both the goodness of God and evil of Satan exist. You get to pick which one you want to be a part of. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- Satan can’t stand it when we celebrate the goodness of God. So when we make Halloween a fun day, instead of a scary day, with interesting costumes and love in our hearts for others, it makes Satan mad and he runs away. (James 4:7)
- Jesus is like a super hero with ultimate powers over Satan and evil. When we are one of His kids we have power over evil too. (I John 4:4-6)
The other thing I do on Halloween is join other likeminded people in having fun with creative pumpkin decorating, “trunk or treat” events with safe candy gathering for kids, and parties with everyone enjoying Pinterest concoctions in wildly creative “innocent” costumes.
So, what’s it going to be for you on Halloween? A witch or a butterfly…
Another idea you might like to try is going to the movies to see Let There Be Light.