Well, it seems that all of a sudden, we’ve found ourselves in October (how?!), which means you’re probably digging out your cosy clothes, endlessly scrolling through a camera-roll full of blissful sunny memories and ordering pumpkin-spiced everything.
Yep, love it or hate it, Autumn is well and truly here. And that means that the familiar old question is about to roll back around once again – to Halloween or not to Halloween?
Maybe you’ve spent your whole life celebrating Halloween with family and friends and have the very best memories of it, or perhaps your family always tended to give it a miss and do something a little different instead. Halloween can be a bit of a grey area, everybody has their own opinion, and that’s ok.
It really is.
The tricky thing about Halloween is that it simply wasn’t a thing when Jesus was around, so He didn’t ever mention it.
So maybe I should back up a little, you may be wondering ‘why would anyone have an issue with this sweet-filled, pumpkin-packed excuse to dress up anyway?’
Well, at its most basic, Halloween has a pretty dark history, it’s a celebration of all things spooky and ghoulish. For some people, that makes it a no-go-zone. Although the Bible never explicitly mentions Halloween, it does mention that we should try our best to put all our attention, energy and focus onto things that are “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8). And as a celebration, Halloween definitely doesn’t fall into those categories!
And that pretty much sums up why some people would rather avoid this festival altogether. If we’re supposed to light up the world, maybe we should think twice about celebrating something so dark.
Other people, however, come at it from the point of view that to light up the world, we kind of need to be in it, right? Jesus is bigger, better and so much brighter than Halloween, so maybe it’s the perfect opportunity to bring light to one of the darkest nights of the year, where we can shine the brightest.
Either way, here’s the bottom line:
If Halloween has always left you feeling a little un-easy, you should never feel like you need to force yourself into it; find a sweet alternative, pick and chose the parts you’d like to get involved with, or steer clear of it altogether.
Perhaps you could challenge yourself to find a way to make this Halloween the brightest day of the year, all treat and no trick. You could spend some time with God, or even use it as an opportunity to share your faith with your friends.
Turn that FOMO into JOMO (joy of missing out – get it?)
But, if you’re someone who finds joy within the festivities, who sees Jesus in every trick-or-treater, who loves to use Halloween as an excuse to dress up as a crayon: then take the opportunity to light up every street, every doorstep, every room you find yourself in.
Turn it on its head and make it something that brings you (and others around you) joy and glorifies God. Maybe you could host an alternative halloween get together with your friends, dress up in your best fancy dress and celebrate all things autumnal!
As people who think Jesus is pretty wonderful, it’s great that we take a minute to ask ourselves these kinds of questions, not just about Halloween, but about everything this world throws at us.
Is this good for me?
Will it fill me up with life, or drain it out of me?
Will it make me more compassionate? More joyful? More hopeful? More in awe of the world around me? More like Jesus?
These questions are yours to ask, and God’s to help you answer. Maybe this whole Halloween thing is yours and God’s to figure out together.
Regardless of the answer that you and God come to, here’s the most important thing to remember… you ready? It’s a biggy.
God does not stop being God on October 31st. Shocker, I know.
Whether you celebrate or hibernate; He’s still there, still moving, still speaking, still working, still loving you, still caring for you, still using you. Nothing can put Him on pause, no day can halt His plans, no festival can get in His way.