Suzi (26 Oct
"To Deborah W re: Halloween as a ministry"
I love it! That's how you redeem a day for the Lord.
of those kids have no idea why they are even dressing up. They are just
following the traditions they grew up with. (as are their parents)
I've stated before, as a true 'pagan holiday', it's akin to New Year's.
It is supposed to be the one night of the year that the veil between
the 'two worlds' is open, and the rituals of protection and blessing
are done to make sure that nothing comes through that is not wanted.
Personally, the CERN people scare me a lot more than some fake cobwebs
As I said before, the tradition of the Jack o Lantern
has a couple of different origins. Just do a google search and you'll
see what I mean. Most agree it was Irish immigrants who brought the
tradition of carving out a veggie w/ a candle inside. American pumpkins
were chosen as being larger and easier than the potatoes, turnips or
gourds. The idea of putting a lighted lantern with a scary face, along
with a 'treat' to appease the 'evil spirits' who were believed to be
walking the earth is just a remnant of old pagan beliefs mixed with the
Christian belief that 'Light' can always dispel 'darkness/evil'.
All those elements can actually lend this totally AMERICANIZED activity (and really a very NEW one), to acts of ministry.
can teach our kids about giving...not to keep evil away, but to share
with our neighbors. I taught my kids all the old 'legends'. They'd be
so cute, with their innocence and faith..."didn't they know they just
needed Jesus?", when I told them some people wanted to dress in costume
to try to fool other 'evil spirits' into thinking they were 'one of
them' and then they'd be 'safe'. The idea of 'treats' to the dead have
roots in a lot of cultural beliefs. In the neighboring county, a few
years ago neighbors near a cemetery had the city put a stop to the
families of those buried there from leaving food offerings to their
loved ones. The abundance of rotting food was attracting rats, cats and
dogs! And that wasn't just at Halloween, but year 'round!
line...anything this world can throw at us, we can take and redeem it
for the Lord. We can use every situation as a teaching tool for our
kids. History, theology, mythology, cultural differences...all of it.
We can tell them how Jesus not only went out to those places that had
'bad things' going on, he sat down and ate with the people, shared His
truth, His love...and we are supposed to be His Hands and Feet. What
better chance do we have than at a time of year when most people have
no idea what they are even 'celebrating'. Pray for those children. Find
a way to share the gospel, turn it into a teaching tool and reclaim the
night as just another night that belongs to He who created the Day and
the Night.....and proclaimed it GOOD!