I am so excited to introduce my dear friend Hannah as a guest blogger this week! I’ve carried on before about fear and how much I detest anything having to do with scary things, but I have largely disregarded Halloween on Parakaleo. It’s not something that I have ever enjoyed and I typically shuffle on through the 31st waiting impatiently for Pinterest and grocery store aisles to clear their themed items and make room for Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, Hannah has developed some far more thorough thoughts on the day from her perspective and was kind enough to share them. Please enjoy and feel free to leave any comments about what role your faith plays in your activities on October 31.
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Let us, for a moment, reflect on the nature and characteristics of God. God is…
love (1 John 4:8)
truth (John 17:17)
life (John 14:6)
peaceful (Philippians 4:7)
strong (Isaiah 41:10)
perfect (Matthew 6:26)
patient (Psalm 86:15)
sustenance (Psalm 54:4)
kind and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32)
worthy of all praise (Psalm 150:6).
What God do we serve? How powerful, perfect, and loving is this God after whom we are to model our lives? With every breath, we have been commanded to be an example of Christ to the world as believers. Jesus should be reflected in every moment of our lives. He should be woven into every thread that forms the tapestry of our lives. He should be the center and the focus of every facet of our lives. He should be the water that infiltrates every crevice of our lives.
With this in mind, I ask you to consider Halloween. Take yourself back to your very favorite Halloween night as a child…Do you remember the excitement at school as your friends and you compared costume ideas and conversed about your house-to-house plans while munching on black and orange goodies? What about getting ready for the big night? Remember how mom used to make sure your costume was just right and you even had family themes sometimes? Think about stepping into the chilly October air before your night of spooks and sweets commenced.
When I think of these nights, I have no recollection of the above memories. I have never been trick-or-treating and was raised to recognize Halloween as “just another day on the calendar.” My parents took me to harvest festivals at church and made sure I got plenty of candy so that I didn’t feel left out, but as far as my parents were concerned, Halloween was evil. As I got into college, I wondered whether or not this belief was merited. To form this opinion for yourself, I present to you a very brief history:
Halloween was originally called All Hallows Eve. This night (the night before the fall harvest) was said to be the night when the dead walked the earth. As a Pagan tradition and a celebration of the Celtic festival of Samhain, people would dress up and light bonfires to ward off these ghosts. People also offered the ghosts food and valuables to protect their crops for harvest the next day. Taking advantage of this system, children would dress up as goblins, ghosts, witches, fairies, etc. and go door to door requesting for these offerings while threatening to play “tricks” if they were not appeased (enter trick-or-treating).
In my findings, I decided that, personally, I did not want to participate in this holiday. I do not want my children to participate and I would love to just pretend that it does not exist. “Why?!” You say, “Halloween is so fun! Your kids will miss out!” Honestly, I began learning how to have an identity in Christ through my lack of participation in Halloween as a child. I learned that it is ok to be different and that my identity in Christ made me different from other kids. This identity helped to begin Christ’s transformation of my old self into my new self.
As Christians, we are called to reflect Christ in every aspect of our lives. I ask you now: what aspect of Halloween reflects the character of God? Is it the haunted houses? Is it the disfigured masks? Is it the continuation of a Pagan tradition glorifying a form of, essentially, bullying? Here’s the answer: none of the above. Halloween does not reflect Christ’s character. Christ is not represented in a single aspect of the day. While I don’t expect to turn any firm believers in Halloween’s importance into non-observers, I do challenge you to do your research. Think about whom you represent with every breath you breathe and every action you take. Are you reflecting the holiness of Christ or reflecting the ways of the enemy? There is no middle ground.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”