Sunday, October 31, 2010
Halloween? or Missions Day?
I am a Christian. Growing up as a Christian makes Halloween a difficult holiday to celebrate. It is all about devils and demons and ghosts...etc, everything that diabolically opposes "light". As a kid, I always wanted to go trick or treating. Dressing up and getting free candy sounds like heaven when you're little. To be honest, I still think it sounds FUN! For many years I was never aloud to participate in activities on Halloween. Halloween night was the night my family would turn off all the lights and go into the back of the house and quietly watch a movie. If the door bell rang, we would hold our breath and shoosh each other in hopes "THEY" wouldn't hear us and then giggled with relief when they walked away.
One Halloween my brothers and I pleaded with my parents to let us "TRICK OR TREATING". I think it's hard for parents of strong faith to explain to little kids why Halloween is truly a "scary" day, when it is so fun. I think we got to them because they caved! Well, you can imagine how excited the three of us outcast-ed "Christian kids" felt on the day our parents caved. There was a craze that went through our house. What would we wear? FREE CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!
Then came the set of rules. We weren't aloud to say "TRICK OR TREAT" for that was not good. We had to say "GOD BLESS YOU." I don't remember what my brothers dressed up as that year but I was Ruth. If you are laughing or don't know who Ruth was...well, you are not alone. Ruth was an amazing woman from the Bible, BUT she was an old lady. Why they didn't let me dress up as Queen Esther or some beautiful woman in the Bible is still a little unclear to me, but provides a lot of humor now at family gatherings.
Imagine a little girl with powdered hair and her mom's "granny" looking clothes coming and knocking on your door Halloween night. You open your door and hear,"GOD BLESS YOU" in a robotic submissive voice. You look and smile at and say sweetly, "Who are you?" The little girl with bright eyes lights up and says with pride, "I'm Ruth!" LOL
Yeah, Halloween is a difficult day to justify participating in and "celebrating" once you've studied what goes on around the world on that day and the history of that day. So what am I supposed to do? Hide in my house on Halloween? This is something I have prayed about and consider year after year. I trust others do the same. I'm not preaching my views or conclusions on this day but felt to share them.
This is what I do know. I am called to love people 365 days out of the year. Halloween isn't a holiday that my God created, but it is a day He celebrates, because He made it. So I want to be like Him. I rejoice in the day that God created despite what man has made it to be about. On the day that God created, I realize people will be coming to my door. If they knock on my door, I answer it! I don't hide from the world on this day, I welcome them today, like every other day, into the love of my home. I tell them they are valued and loved, and if I don't have time to tell them with words I tell them with my actions and warmth. These children that come to my door will not be sent away because of darkness, they will be invited and drawn in, because my light is on. (In all respects)
Deception cannot make us push people away one day of the year. Loving people is not the same as celebrating the holiday. I know people who use this day to dress up like a prostitute or pimp, drink a ton and say they are "loving people in God's name by not acting judgemental." That isn't true. That isn't what they are doing. I'm clear on that. Loving people like Jesus did, looks just like that! These friends don't understand the damage they do to God's name, but they also don't understand how loved they are, or they wouldn't do this.
I can't imagine Jesus hiding out in the back of his house/tent with His lights off watching a movie Halloween night because the Devil is running about. Nah...that doesn't sit well with me. I can know this by reading about his life. So why is His church feeling to do that? I'm not sure. I think it would be awesome for the church to truly recognize what Halloween is about so that they could truly magnify light on a day where "darkness is fun". I do know some churches are doing this on a deeper level then simply providing an alternative.
That said, I look forward to this evening. My heart is to love this world every day. This is not Halloween Day, this is His day! I can't wait to do His business every time my door bell rings. I have at least 30 seconds of face time with children He loves, to look into their eyes and tell them that Jesus is absolutely crazy about them. While I tell them this, I get to hand them yummy candy! Sounds like a win win to me. I also get to smile at their mom or dad and ask them if they want some coffee or cider and introduce myself into their life. Yeah, I can do this on other days, but it seems like "heavenly justice" to do it on this day! Why you ask? Because my enemy does not want them coming to my door! He's not interested in them being introduced to Jesus. He's interested in them being introduced to deception. Today is missions day! The day that deception is peeled back because love is just stronger! "He has overcome the world." I want to act like I believe that! Justice is overcoming evil with good.
People aren't evil, they are loved by God and called to great things. Some are broken hearted. Some have fallen on hard times. Evil is real and does exist but I am armed with Love, which casts evil out of the picture completely. In fact, He's knocked so far back, He silenced at the perimeter of my property. He has to watch love unravel and tumble all about, and be silent! That makes my house a safe spot for my neighbors. So why do I close-up when darkness comes? All the more reason to "Arise and Shine, for my light has come and the Glory of the God has risen upon me" Isaiah 60:1
Welcome to Missions Day!