When Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” did He mean for us to include ghost and goblins? If so, that means every Halloween is an opportunity to witness to the dark side.
Most Christians don’t know what to do with Halloween. They wonder if they should ignore it; protest against it; or find alternative ways to participate without offending their faith. The trouble comes from the belief that nothing good can come from evil so why take part? Yet, Joseph tells us in the bible that “what is meant for evil God can use for good.” In that case, Halloween can be an opportunity for us to do good.
I realize that some of you may be wondering if I’ve been living on a far away planet unaware of what Halloween is. I have not. I’m very much aware of its meaning and tradition. Before Christ, Halloween was part of the Celtic Feast of Samhain. This celebration of Druid priest commemorated the beginning of winter. The Festivals consisted of animal sacrifices to the dead and bonfires in recognition of departed souls. Those who participated in the festival believed that goblins, demons, witches and elves were sent from the world beyond to harass the living. For self-protection, the Druid’s would dress up like ghouls and goblins and involve themselves in demonic activities. They believed participating in this way kept them from being attacked by real witches and demons.
The early church responded by moving All Saint’s’ Day from spring to fall and renamed it Hallows’ Eve. In doing so, Christians used, what we now call, Halloween as catalyst in which to proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection. Halloween, for the early church, became a way to evangelize the people. They took something evil and used it for good. We would do well to follow their example.
Halloween is full of trickery and illusions about mystical powers and the living dead. Christians today can use these illusions in comparison to the truth that Jesus overcame the grave by the power of God and is the true Resurrection and Life. Better yet, those who are in Christ will also conquer the grave and live forever in the presence of God. What good news to share on such a dark day!
There are many ways to share the good news of the gospel. My church has a Harvest Party on October 31 every year. The children play games and collect candy while the adults enjoy hayrides and winner roasts. The most significant part about our party is the gospel room. This is where a drama is presented sharing about the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving power. One way for you to share Jesus with others is to invite an un-churched family to your church’s festival.
Another way to participate if you’re a stay at home kind of person is not to turn off the lights and hide. Instead be a shinning light on a dark night. Tie scripture or gospel tracks to some candy and hand it out at your front door with Christ-like love and joy.
If you have with the gift of hospitality, then have a Harvest party at your house. Invite friends, family, and neighbors to sit around a camp fire or your living room floor and think of creative ways to talk the Holy Spirit instead of ghostly spirits.
Halloween is not a time for avoidance. It’s a time to communicate with your children, family, and friends that, “yes,” death and the grave are real, but through Christ, we are more than conquerors over evil. What better time to share this good news with others then when our minds are on such things? It’s an opportunity to take something evil and use it for good.