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Friday, October 5, 2007

Family Focus Friday: Halloween

With Halloween coming up in just a few weeks, I thought I'd see what you are planning to do with the holiday. While Kevin and I have decided to just sort of skip over the holiday (I've heard too many bad stories), others find it a really great opportunity for evangelism while everyone is opening their doors to strangers. And then there is some option right in the middle. My mom was asking for ideas on how to incorporate Christian ideas into a Halloween lesson for their KIDS Club at their church in a couple weeks. And here is what I suggested:

- make luminaries--take a small paper bag, cut out a shape (star, pumpkin, or whatever), and put a tea light inside--to bring up the idea of letting our lights shine (Matt. 5:16)
- talk about fear and how Jesus frees of us of all our fears
- talk about the heroes of the Bible
- talk about good/bad, Heaven/Hell, Jesus/Satan and what side they (your children) want to represent and how they can do that throughout their life or by the faces they wear throughout the day

Everyone has their own opinion about the holiday. What have you decided for your own family? I'd love to hear your response, WHENEVER you get to it! It doesn't have to be this Friday; don't ever feel it's too late to participate!

*Updated: Read what others are saying about this topic over at Biblical Womanhood.


Paul B. said...

I am divided. On the one hand, much of the symbolism of Halloween is dark, pagan, and wicked. I want nothing to do with that! In addition, it has been overly commercialized, and I don't want anything to do with that either.

On the other hand, Halloween is something that happens in our culture, and it is to greater and lesser degrees important to the people around us, so I think we ought to take note and somehow join in rather than retreating from the world to hide out in the Christian ghetto.

Here are some thoughts:
1. Consider it an opportunity for hospitality.
2. Jesus defeated the powers and principalities in the heavenly realms through the cross. Not only are they defeated, he disarmed them and made a public spectacle of them! What, then, do we have to be afraid of?
3. While there may be some few who are conscious of the dark aspects of Halloween and embrace them, most people are probably simply oblivious to the spiritual dimension.
4. If you opt to be counter-cultural, how can you point (in a genuine way) to Jesus instead of to your own high morality?
5. If we want to enter into the culture on this matter, I think we need to look for the deep meanings that we can embrace and allow the forms that we choose to express those to flow out of the meaning rather than taking external forms and trying to stick some Christian meaning on them. For example, a celebration of the turning of the seasons may be more appropriate than trick-or-treating with tracts. If that makes any sense.

I think that's all I've got. :)

Laura said...

Hey Sarah,
I think I'm going to take my youth group trick or treating for canned goods on Halloween.
Then donate all of the goods to the local food shelf.
This way, we can tell people(who come to the door) who we are, and why we are collecting food instead of candy.
My Res Suite did this is college, and it was really neat. People were really touched by the thoughtfulness of a bunch of college age girls.
Maybe your mom could do this, too?

In Light of the Truth... said...

Thanks, bro, for your thoughts! I know you're always a deep thinker and I love hearing what you have to say! A lot of "Christian living" IS counter-cultural... "do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world" Romans 12:2 But of course at the same time we don't want to completely separate ourselves either. Right now in our life we aren't involved in anything where Halloween is an issue (i.e. Eli's not in school, we're not really part of a small-town community, and friends around us aren't having a Halloween party or anything) so for this year it's just fine for us to skip over the holiday. Though in later years, as the children get older, it may be a different situation. I like the idea of a "harvest party" or "autumn celebration", something of that nature. We'll just see, I guess!

Sharon said...

We do Halloween. In reading on its history, it is based on Christian roots, too. We prefer non-ghoulish costumes for our children. This year Aidan wants to be a dinosaur, last year he was a doggy. That is fine with us. If he wanted to be a devil or something of evil nature, we'd sit down and explain further why that is not ok.

On another night, I frequently here people claim they are no for trick-or-treating b/c all year long they tell their children not to talk to strangers, and then on Halloween it's OK. Well, we're supposed to be neighborly and know our neighbors, and that is why I feel trick-or-treating is ok. We should still have that sense of community. If we were total strangers, I would NOT be ok w/ it.