As followers of Christ, how do we handle Halloween? The recent historical response from Christians has been to either avoid it altogether or provide a safe, friendly church alternative. After all, Halloween is the celebration of all things evil and we don’t want to participate in something that seems to be the antithesis of God. So our response, we organize an event that extracts Christians from their homes and assembles them at a church location, isolated from the world to celebrate the “Harvest” instead of Halloween. Not that there is anything wrong with a party, candy, ponies or hay bales. But instead of focusing on how to avoid this cultural phenomenon, what if we embraced it? What if instead of vilifying Halloween, we actually viewed it as an opportunity for God to create connection with our community?
There is only one night in the entire year where people leave their homes to knock on the doors of strangers within reasonable walking distance in search of candy. There’s one night when people who never talk to each other find themselves face to face. There’s one night when the neighbors that God has called us to love are standing at our front door…it’s Halloween! What better opportunity to be present to welcome neighbors and strangers with candy…coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, pastries, music and most importantly, conversation. Turn your garage into a space of hospitality instead of a place for your cars. Begin new friendships or reconnect with old ones. Establish relationships with others realizing that God’s grace flows through friendships. Let’s learn to live in the world for the sake of the world, instead of avoiding it for the sake of ourselves.