Halloween has many memories for me. Like any other child of my generation, I remember when it was safe to go trick or treating. Oh there was the general “scare” about razor blades in apples, and you weren’t supposed to eat any “homemade” candy. But all in all – it was pretty tame.
What’s even more amusing to me – our church youth group used to have a haunted houses complete with zombies and ghouls to scare us and make us scream as we went through it. Our youth pastor was the biggest kid among us. No one thought anything about it. It was just good clean fun.
I even remember singing “The Monster Mash” as a part of a Halloween celebration at our church one year. We had a really goofy guy doing the solo and then a few of us girls backed him up – I must have been in junior high then. Again – good clean fun – not meant to conjure up evil spirits or somehow celebrate a demonic holiday with satan.
It was not until college that I heard any controversy about Halloween. And I learned that some of these students had never gone trick or treating – nor did they celebrate in any way, unless it was a harvest festival or equivalent at their church. They did not hand out candy to children, even turned their lights out in their home to avoid people all together.
We did not agree and always let our kids dress up and go out on Halloween, with us along, of course. It was fun for them – as it had been for us – and I did not see any reason to darken their world with horror stories and controversy over it. Children only know that they are getting candy – LOTS OF IT. And they are excited!
Some years ago our children’s pastor spoke about this subject, and I thought he had wonderful things to say in addressing this issue that the church has been faced with. Do we – or don’t we? His insight was really great – he said, “this is an opportunity – how often do you have CHILDREN and their parents coming to your door?” He was of the opinion that we as Christians should embrace the moment – impact our neighborhood and shine the light of Jesus everywhere we go – on EVERY day of the year – including Halloween. He had tracts that he handed out with candy in hopes that the family would get a positive message from a Christian family on the block – with information and numbers of the church and him personally.
It was great advice – and I know MANY people who also practice this. And although we don’t pass out a tract to children – we DO have our lights on shining brightly and we greet each one with a smile and a welcome – letting our light shine out in a dark world – impacting one child and one family – one at a time.
I challenge you to do the same – be a light in the dark. You never know who may come to your door that needs – you.
Below – enjoy a trip back to my youth group days – with a video of “Monster Mash”.
Have a safe Halloween.