Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween - a holiday?

Okay, Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. I mean - isn't it supposed to be a HOLY-day and Halloween is far from being holy. However, it is difficult to tell my children that they are not allowed to collect candy and dress up with their friends. So, we try to do it in a christian manner, bringing the light of Jesus into a rather dark holiday. We figure - if this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be GLAD in it. Who says satan gets his own day anyway?
I have been reading lately about Halloween and what the practices of Halloween are supposed to signify. It is tough to be a christian and deal with this holiday. It is tough to have strong convictions of what we are allowed to do; by the Bibles standards, what brings the Lord joy and blessings, and try to do it all while trying to deal with your kids and your kids friends.
Apparently the act of carving pumpkins is rather crude. It is to signify the offering of your first born and I guess there is something in there about burning flesh too. In the days of the druids, evil spirits would go door to door to collect treats (I guess the remains of your burning first born) and if they got a treat they would pass over your house onto the next. So, kids began dressing up as "spirits" to trick people into giving them treats instead of getting tricks. YUM. Makes you want to run out and carve something doesn't it?
I struggled with this for a few years as we continued to carve pumpkins every year because everyone else did it. A few years back as we were carving and praying and pulling out the guts of these poor pumpkins, I realized - isn't this what the Lord does with us when we ask Him to move in? Doesn't He get into our hearts and do a good spring cleaning? He pulls out all that bitterness and sin and yuck and muck and gets our hearts all clean and fresh and then He moves in. Romans 8:11 tells us that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave dwells within US!
So, if we remove all this junk from the pumpkin and put a light in the pumpkin and the pumpkin is now smiling - isn't it a picture of what happens in our hearts and lives when Jesus enters in?
This year as the girls were carving their pumpkins, Ashley decided that instead of a face she wanted to carve a heart into her pumpkin. When asked why, she stated that if she put a candle in there she wanted her pumpkin's heart to light up like the light of Jesus.

We don't ever get anyone coming door to door looking for candy as we live in the country and our houses are too far apart to walk door to door. We always let the girls dress up though and we go to the local churches and collect candy from them. Of course they call it a Harvest Fest as a Halloween alternative.
I remember that as a kid before we were christians, Halloween was my dad's favorite holiday because his birthday was the next day. We decked out the house in everything haunted and frightening and "celebrated" big. After my Mom became a christian, we would hide out in the back room and turn off all the lights and pretend we were not home. As christians - should we hide out on this day? Should we pretend we aren't home? What would Jesus do? I really believe somewhere there has to be a happy medium. A balance between not giving the day to Satan but being bold in our convictions. Answer the door, christians. Be home. Be available. Be a blessing. Yes, we will have ghosts and goblins and other forms of evil knocking at our door, but we have to remember that hidden within these costumes are the dear ones that Jesus loves so much. Shouldn't we be available to them to love them and show them the love of Jesus? Maybe instead of candy we can pass out "Jesus loves You" pencils.
I am proud of Ashley that she has a heart for Jesus and so does her pumpkin. She sat and carved with love on her heart and in her mind. She wasn't practicing the ways of the druids, she was practicing the ways of our Lord and Savior. She was using that pumpkin to be a witness to the light that shines within her own heart!
Halloween certainly isn't a holiday, but October 31st is a HOLY-day. God created the day the same as any other day. Sometimes October 31st even lands - GASP - on a SUNDAY! Do you think the Lord would turn off the lights and pretend that He wasn't home or do you think He would light up His house for the world to see and proclaim that day as HIS day! You decide.
As for me and my house - we will serve the Lord on this day and every other!

1 comment:

Angie:) said...

I like this post:):) As for me and my house... we will serve the Lord, too!:)