Thursday night my small group had a special meeting (we usually have our study on Mondays) to get together for a Q&A session with one of the pastors at our church, Tim Ayers. Lots of good questions were asked, and Tim, as always, had wise answers. One of the most interesting and insightful comments was on one of the lighter subjects of the evening.
The only couple with a child old enough to eat candy asked what to do about Halloween. Do we celebrate it like everyone else, or is it Evil and Pagan and Of The Devil? I saw this as a very valid question. I've been in at least a couple churches where they've handed out tracts explaining the depth of darkness surrounding this seemingly harmless and frivolous holiday. Since I've heard and read those, I have never been totally comfortable with the idea of 'celebrating' Halloween. Tim's answer made things clear, and Josh and I really appreciated it.
What annoys us as Christians about the way Christmas is celebrated? Is it the people that refuse to celebrate it or those who celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah around the same time? No, not really, we feel like they have that right. The thing that really bothers us is when a serious day of remembrance and significance is made frivolous- when Christmas is about candy canes and Santa and pine trees and nutcrackers and getting, or Easter centers around rabbits and chicks and decorated eggs and colored-sugar-coated marshmallows, and no mention or thought is made of Jesus.
So what does that have to do with Halloween? Tim was skeptical that Halloween had any sort of significance to much of anyone (as am I), but, on the chance that Satan does care about the day, the biggest disservice we can do him is to give him no attention. Trivialize the day. Celebrate it, and have as much fun as you can. Make the day not at all about Satan and darkness and scariness, and make it everything about running from door to door with your kid dressed up as a Power Ranger. If Halloween truly means nothing, we will have fun family time and give Satan no credit. If it does matter to Satan, we will do our best to make everything as frivolous and fun and silly as possible, as to give him no credit or attention and trivialize the day. This view made so much logical sense to me.
I did my part: Candy Corn Cookies