Rethinking Halloween

Halloween may actually be the most Christian holiday of them all. Maybe my small rural town and its super friendly residents make it even more so.

When we trick or treat, everyone goes from house to house and strangers give them candy. Although in a town like mine, there are less strangers than in many other places. But love of neighbor and stranger is fully exhibited during trick or treat. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, you're treated the same.

And then I just don't get it. Churches hole themselves up, do trunk or treats, and avoid the activities because the holiday had pagan origins. I remember going to such activities as a kid. It seems to go completely contrary to the call on our lives as followers of Jesus.

Reacting against this was the reason I started a hot dog handout project years ago. We set up in the main trick or treating strip and give hot dogs and bottled waters away. This year, we gave away about 350 of each. The idea expressed is that we want to be the church in the midst of our community.

If the holiday was originally evil, then get out there and redeem it. We serve a savior who is in the business of taking things that were evil and making things better. True, we don't participate in evil in this process, but we also don't isolate ourselves. That's not how redemption happens. But there is nothing evil in giving away a hot dog, passing out candy, or going to a house and allowing them to bless you. Find out how God can use you to be a blessing in the midst of the community and do that.