One of my friends stays home to pray on Halloween because in her childhood she was a victim of satanic ritual abuse. Other friends dress their children in wholesome costumes and head out to connect with neighbors on the one night when doors and, in some cases, hearts are open. I recently read an article by a mother whose daughter died several years ago. She opened my eyes to the anguish she experiences when she sees corpses and skeletons in her neighbors’ yards. After much prayer and planning, some Christ followers host harvest festivals to provide relational space for people from all walks of life to gather for cider, games, listening and neighborly love.
So, what should followers of Jesus do on Halloween?
As a lover of Christ and candy, a listener to those I’ve mentioned above, and a parent, I have come to the following approach. Whether you resonate with my threefold answer or not, I hope these insights will contribute to your own processing as you consider Halloween, other Holidays and any difficult topic which good and sincere followers of Jesus differ.
- Live in loving union with Jesus all day and night. Jesus is Lord of all. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and declares, … I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:18-20, ESV) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Col. 2:9-10) So abide in our resurrected, infinitely powerful, creator, preeminent and always present Lord Jesus Christ.
- Ask King Jesus what to do and then do it. Unless He returns beforehand, October 31 will be a day that He will make, He will reign and He will work. If you are His disciple you can join forces with Him in some unique way this Halloween. He says, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27) So ask our Good Shepherd what He wants you to do. Listen to the passages from His Word that you have worked hard over the years to learn and listen to His Holy Spirit who indwells you. [Make sure that whatever you do, it does not distract others from their journey with Christ. (Romans 14:20-21)] Jesus can be trusted to show you His unique plan so ask Him and then join Him in seeing His kingdom come and His will being done on October 31 on earth as it is in heaven.
- Be gracious, honoring, prayerful, respectful and grateful for those who are led differently. While all of Romans 14 command us in this way regarding disputable matters, here are a few verses that will help us all grow in Christ-like love.
- “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.” (Romans 14:5–7, ESV)
- “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” (Romans 14:10–13, ESV)
So, this is what I believe followers of Jesus should do on Halloween: abide, obey and love. If you have something you would like to add to my threefold synthesis, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With you for Christ and His Kingdom,