Oct 13, 2008
Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the colorful foliage, the smell of pumpkin spice and the anticipation of the holiday season that’s right around the corner. But before we get to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have to survive the holiday that has so many Christians divided on how to spend it: Halloween. What should our Christian response be to it? Should we even acknowledge it? Embrace it? Edit it? Ignore it? Or just accept it? In Colossians 4:5 Paul writes, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” In the original language it means literally, “redeeming the time.” I like that image as I struggle with how to address Halloween. We can redeem the time by transforming Halloween into an opportunity to act toward non-Christians in a way that could draw them closer to Christ. Consider the opportunity. What other time of the year can you go to any house with a light on and be greeted warmly by the people inside? When else does a parade of people come to your front door expecting you to give them something? What an opportunity! One Halloween as I went trick-or-treating with the kids, I realized that every home in our neighborhood that I knew was occupied by a Christian family was dark and uninviting to trick-or-treaters. A missed opportunity? Conversely, in another neighborhood we lived in, a church got together and did a “Veggie Tales” carnival on their pastor’s lawn. There were carnival games, a Polaroid picture with Larry Boy, free hot dogs & free water. On everything they passed out was an invitation to their church. They brought the church to the trick-or-treaters. That’s making the most an opportunity! I have some friends whose Christian neighbors bring their grill & fire pit out to their driveway on Halloween night and pass out hot dogs instead of candy. People linger around the fire pit while they eat their hot dogs. Over the years, they have seen people pray to receive Christ on Halloween night because of conversations they have had over hot dogs. That’s redeeming the time! However I feel about Halloween, it is at the very least, an unparalleled opportunity to reach out and redeem the time.