I get asked each year at this time if I let my kids go trick or treating. Within the Christian community, there has always been a polarizing debate about halloween. Do we as Christians reject it, receive it or redeem it?
Rejecting it would mean we turn our porch light off, pretend October 31st, does not exist and shun those who participate in a day dedicated to eating too much candy. Receiving it would mean we simply go along with what our culture does, participating mindlessly. I think both of these fall short of what God calls us to as his followers.
While there is some history about the origins of Halloween that Christians should be aware of and Justin Holcomb has a great look at that history here.
Practically, the question remains what you’ll do on that day. For our family, we’ve chosen to participate with our neighbor and seek to redeem Halloween. Here are some things we’re doing:
- Stand out in our driveway. Be out front to say hi to everyone, talk to them. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors. Everyone is out walking around. Not sure how often that happens in your neighborhood, but it isn’t an everyday occurrence. Being present in your neighborhood is a great step forward in being on mission in your neighborhood.
- Build a fire in your fire pit If you have one, do it. It makes people hang out longer when there is a fire. Put some chairs around it and invite people to sit down with you.
- Have the best candy. Your house as a follower of Jesus should be the house kids want to go to 5 times because your candy rocks.
- Have something great for the adults. We often have hot apple cider or some other treat that adults can take with them. Maybe bottle of water. Something they can take with them.
- Include your missional community. Because the mission of our MC is our neighborhood, many from our MC will come and trick or treat with us and spend time helping to hand out candy.