What to do about Halloween? What to do when good people disagree? These two questions go together like peanut butter and jelly. I grew up in a conservative Pentecostal church and thank God for my upbringing. About this time of the year there was plenty of teachings going around about the history of Halloween and evils of participating. As children we did not trick or treat or anything of the nature. I totally respect each parent's decision on what to do during this event. For my family we have decided to try and redeem the holiday. Martin Luther and others tried to do this by celebrating Reformation Day and All Hallow's Day on November 1st. For awhile this worked but at some point Christians such as the Puritans in America pulled out all together of all holidays and this left the void to a complete reversal into paganism. Our society has completely embraced this holiday and we have chosen to be part of a growing movement to redeem the holiday. To take what Satan meant for evil and turn it to good. The book Redeeming Halloween by Kim Weir and Pam McCure has lots of ideas on how to do this.
There are certain aspects of the holiday that are just cultural and for the most part are harmless in my view. Here is what we do or have done:
1. The Pumpkin devotional (see below)
2. Visit a nursing home/shut-ins for trick or treat
3. Only dress in positive good costumes
4. Give Christian comic books
5. Trunk or treat at a church
6. We have hosted a fall festival at church before (I will post why we don't now later)
7. Talk about Reformation Day and who Martin Luther was
8. Roast pumpkin seeds and eat them!!!
My goal here is to be a positive impact on the culture and teach my kids how to be a light on a dark night.
This is an example of the pumpkin devotional:
Halloween devotion. Get a large pumpkin and recruit six group members to help. As yourkids carve the pumpkin, have them use the following devotion to help remind the children what it means to have Jesus in their hearts:
Group Member #1-(Cut out the stem part and pull out the gooey insides.) *Say: Yuck! This is what we look like inside when Jesus doesn't live in our hearts. All the bad things we do and all the mean and grumpy things we say are rotten and slimy just like the inside of this pumpkin. Just like our pumpkin couldn't clean itself out, we can't clean ourselves up without Jesus' help.
Group Member #2-(Show the inside of the pumpkin all cleaned out.) *Say: When we decide we want to love and follow Jesus, he comes into our hearts and cleans up all the nasty stuff sin causes. And Jesus gives us all a very important job.
Group Member #3-(Carve the eyes.) *Say: Jesus wants our eyes to look at everyone with love.
Group Member #4-(Carve the nose.) *Say: Jesus wants our noses to sniff all around and find all the kind and wonderful people we know: teachers who help us to learn, parents who cook us our meals, and the mail carrier who brings us our mail. Jesus wants us to be sure to thank all the special people we know.
Group Member #5-(Carve the mouth in a smile.) *Say: Jesus wants us to use our mouths to tell everyone we know about him. So be sure to tell someone about Jesus' love this week.
Group Member #6-(Put a candle in the jack-o'-lantern and light it.) *Say: When Jesus lives in our hearts, he cleans out the mess inside. Even better, he lights up our lives so that everyone who looks at us can see his love shine out, just like this pumpkin shines right now. Close with a song such as "This Little Light of Mine.
Author: Lana Mclaughlin
You can buy some great gifts to hand out at this website http://www.ctainc.com/
Other great ideas for an an outreach at your home can be found here http://www.lightthenightpa.com/