Halloween. We were squirreled away in the master bedroom watching a movie and having a “picnic”. The whole family. The rest of the house was bathed in darkness. From the street, it looked like no one was home.
“Don’t answer the door if anyone knocks,” I warned the girls. They didn’t quite understand what I was talking about but they nodded anyway.
“Mom, can I please have some more bread?” my four-year old asked. Bread. It never occurred to her that other kids were going from house to house asking for candy or treats. The concept of Halloween is completely foreign to my children.
As I stumbled through the inky blackness to the kitchen, I noticed that the tiny window in the foyer perfectly framed the house across the road. The neighbours who live there have a reputation for being aloof. Like our house, theirs too was bathed in darkness. And suddenly, I wondered if people thought of us the same way they think of them. Do they think we’re unfriendly and unwelcoming?
It bothered me. Because even though we don’t celebrate Halloween, we are still called to love generously and give extravagantly. And isn’t Halloween the perfect opportunity to do this?
I was still wrestling with this when I checked my e-mail several hours later. There, I found a link to a blog post entitled “Open the Door to Halloween”. In it, the author talked about how Halloween is the only day of the year when the neighbours come knocking on our doors en masse. He said that it’s an incredible opportunity to find ways to shower our neighbourhoods with God’s love.
There are many views within the church regarding Halloween. We don’t celebrate it in our home. I’m not comfortable with the history behind it, the gruesome decorations, or the glorification of darkness. But I can’t help but wonder. Even if my family doesn’t dress up and go trick or treating, should we hide from those who do?
Can Halloween be sanctified?
John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
In 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, Paul says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.”
Our desire is to glorify God and share His love. So we made a decision. Next year, we’re going to switch things up a little. We are going to take full advantage of the opportunity to open our door and our hearts to our neighbours. Rather than bathing our house in darkness, we are going to shine Jesus.
(PS In the comment section below, one incredible mom shares some amazing ideas on how to live this out. Scroll down and have a look.)