As a Christian dad, I’m often asked, “Are you going to take your kids trick-or-treating?”
Yes, our Christian family does the Halloween thing. Here are three reasons why:
- It gives our family opportunity to talk about Spiritual heroes.
Many Christians have run from the holiday because they see it as focusing on demons and witches. Interestingly, the history of the holiday is the opposite. Halloween is a conjunction of the words “Hallowed Eve.” In 835, Pope Gregory decided to take a Romanized Celtic holiday to honor the dead and connect it to a three day festival to honor martyrs on November 1st and all who have died on November 2nd.
At Halloween, talk as a family about the many martyrs who have given their lives for the Gospel. How can someone say? “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). Then talk about death and the hope we have in Jesus. “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him” (2 Cor 5:6–9)
- It gives our family an opportunity to love our neighbors.
On Halloween, many will turn their lights off and pretend not to be home. Going door-to-door to collect treats is a tradition that began in Ireland hundreds of years ago. Farmers would knock on doors to collect food for a village feast and bonfire. It was a community event. During the 1800s, many people migrated from Ireland to the United States and they brought the activity with them.
Christians go out of the way to show love to our neighbors. Halloween is the holiday on the calendar that most encourages our culture to knock on our neighbor’s doors. It also gives us an easy way to show love to our neighbors’ kids by putting candy in their hands. At Halloween, talk about how Jesus taught that all Old Testament could be summarized in the Great Commandment to love God and love your neighbor. If you want to go further, In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan to elaborate on how we should go out of our way to love our neighbors.
- It gives our family an opportunity to have fun.
OK, so maybe that isn’t a “spiritual” reason, but I’m serious. We look for opportunities to laugh together. Getting dressed up is fun. Serving our neighbors is really fun… It is better to give than receive. Our kids love handing out candy and watching mom and dad get into it.
What will your family do tonight? If you have a thoughtful response, please share it below.
Note: Today, is also the 500 year anniversary of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses that helped to launch the Great Reformation. Take some time to read my friend, Jeff Warren’s outstanding blog on it here: http://www.pcbc.org/jeffsblog/
I’m all for ‘doing the Halloween thing’ for the reasons you mentioned; however, there are still others who may recall some detailed, historical findings about the origins of Halloween that are pointed out (in Wikipedia) by historian Nicholas Rogers, that I can see may not be favorable to some Christians. I think partaking in the celebration of Halloween can be debatable, but I also invite everyone who encounters this debate to read and meditate over Romans 14 and not only reflect on their own life, but also to not pass judgement on one another as it is written in verse 13. (I would also point out, interestingly, that this chapter starts out with, “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”~NIV)
Thank you for this blog post…and Happy Halloween to you and your family!