Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween



You're thinking this is a previous Halloween picture, right, because today is Halloween? 

Nope!

This, dear readers, is simply two sisters, about 4 years ago, having some good, clean fun on a Saturday night. (And, yes, I'm wearing a wig.)

I went hunting through my computer files to find an old picture of either me or David trick-or-treating as a kid to share, but when I stumbled upon this one first, I knew it was a winner worthy of sharing. 

Growing up north of Atlanta, everyone participated in Halloween. In the safety of our subdivisions, Halloween was simply a community gathering. All adults would get home early enough to park their cars before the sun went down so children could have free reign of the roads to run from house to house trick-or-treating. Meanwhile, parents would walk behind their children through the neighborhood, on the way bumping into neighbors they hadn't visited with since the last neighborhood swim meet over 4th of July. 

However, I recognize that for many people, Halloween doesn't conjure up such happy feelings. For some, Halloween is truly scary because of the violence that occurs in their communities that night every year. For others, Halloween is confusing since there are people who've used the holiday as an excuse to worship Satan. 

One of my favorite opinions on Halloween comes from Ray Comfort. In his article on Living Waters.com, he challenges believers to, "Make the most evil night of the year into the most evangelistic." 

Halloween reminds me that almost everyone has a fascination with the spiritual realm. Whether it's the un-dead or ghosts or zombies or exorcisms, just take a look at modern entertainment. The television networks and movie studios keep rolling out tv shows and movies about topics that involve the "darker side" of the spiritual realm. People eagerly watch them because they are curious about death and evil. And here we have a day on our calendars where it's socially considered "okay" to dress up like or watch a scary movie about these things. Furthermore, it's all expected to be done publicly. Not in secret. Halloween is an out-on-the-street holiday.

Honestly, I can't help but laugh and wonder if Satan realizes his failures with October 31st...

He thought he could claim just one day for himself to be honored. That on that one day he could squelch the joy and peace of Jesus by confusing people and instilling fear.

That if the weather was eery (like it is in North Little Rock today) people might jump at the shadows or believe the creaks in their attack are ghosts coming to haunt them because they're fearful and confused.

He thought, in their state of confusion and loneliness, people would seek him out, but instead, on this holiday, lonely people will be visited by children. There are people tonight who never get visitors and never receive special deliveries, but tonight, eager children will knock on their doors with big smiles.

And most excitedly, because of all the hype Halloween and evil gets this week, our neighbors who are walking up and down the street are primed to talk about spiritual things they're curious about.

Our God can take the most horrific thing and turn it into something beautiful. 2000 years ago, to look upon a crucifix was gruesome. Today, we wear them as beautiful pieces of jewelry reminding us of the glory of God's grace.

Today and tonight, many neighborhoods and subdivisions and churches and communities will choose to use something Satan tried to claim for himself as a platform to shine the light of truth.

When the sun goes down, and the wind picks up, turn on the lights in your home. Remind your community that not only is there a light in the darkness, it's shining right there in their communities.

Don't let Satan have this day. Use it as the day God made it for, not the day Satan wants it to be.

A couple other Christian opinions on Halloween:
Christianity Today - "Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween"
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?"