This might be one of the most controversial posts that I write — at least in some Christian circles. Here it is… I’m ready to get controversial… I like Halloween. One of my favorite local pastors — Paul Grabil — put something on his facebook status about Christians and Halloween and within a day or two it had 194 comments. So let me tell you why I like Halloween — 8 reasons.
1) Halloween has it’s origins in the Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain was the day marking the entrance into the darker half of the year (less sun) AND the day when the border between this world and the otherworld was at its most thin. This thinness allowed for the passing through of supernatural beings — both evil and good. I think it’s good to have at least one day when we are reminded that the walls between this world and the heavenly realms (Paul’s term) are thin — actually always thin. In fact the Bible suggests that there are no walls and we walk, live, and love in the midst of spiritual battle, every day.
2) I like free chocolate.
3) There is no other day in the year where my neighbors come by and introduce themselves to me. What an amazing opportunity to pray for every family on my block!
4) We always have chocolate left over.
5) Halloween — perhaps because subconsciously people are more aware of the spiritual nature of life, just like at Christmas? — gives an amazing opportunity for outreach. This year Calvary had a group of college students who set up a station in Beaver Canyon and handed out 300 free hotdogs. Every time someone asked, “Why are you doing this?” they said, “We just wanted an opportunity to tell you God loves you.” Then we had another group of 20-somethings who went downtown and prayerwalked throughout the bar-district. They prayed for people, gave drunk people rides home, and had multiple conversations about God. Then our Warriors Mark crew set up a station in Warriors Mark, right across from some low-income housing and gave away winter coats. I love Halloween!
6) Target has great Post-Halloween candy sales.
7) I enjoy a good scare. I like to give-em and I even like to receive-em. I know I’ve got a routine going in this post — holy reason followed by candy reason — which means that this one should be a holy reason. I know “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” But then again “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But honestly I’m not trying to put this one in the “holy reason” category, I just think we live such comfortable lives that a little fear now and then is good for us.
8) Yep. Chocolate. I mean think about it. Where else but America would we make free chocolate a national holiday?
Now I know, it would be far easier to follow the ways of Jesus, if he had said, “They will know you are my followers by the fact that you do not Halloween-ie.” But he didn’t, He said that our mark would be love. So until one of my theologian friends can find an injunction against Halloween — in the original languages — I’m there. And I’ll keep working on the love part.