Many Christians have chosen to replace Halloween with a Harvest Day Party or activity. The holiday falls on October 31, the time that has signaled the end of the harvest season for hundreds of years. Ancient Celtic beliefs called for pagan rituals such as bonfires, animal sacrifices, divination, and the like, as part of their revelry. Many of these rituals have become Americanized, with many modern activities still dabbling in the realm of the black arts, and honoring the world of the dead. While these things may be fascinating, even gripping to those in the world, to the believer they do not represent anything Godly. Because of this, the Church has answered the call of Christ to be set apart from the things of this world, and be a shelter for others who choose to follow.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said it well: "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16) While Jesus may have been preaching two thousand years ago to a multitude of people from a mountainside, today there is a multitude of individuals who identify with those words, and have set themselves like a city on a hill.
Every year, churches throughout the nation pierce the darkness with the light of God's Word, bringing hope to the hopeless, and life to those whose lives are devastated by the enemy. Part of their ministry includes providing a safe and exciting alternative to traditional Halloween celebrations. They do this in the form of a Harvest Party. But they see the Harvest Party as more than just a carnival for kids that falls during the natural harvest season. They see it as an evangelistic tool to bring in the spiritual harvest. By inviting children throughout their community, they open the door to the neighborhood. Families have the opportunity to know about Jesus Christ and many have become believers as a result.
To be a 'City on a Hill' does not mean to be isolated. It means to be elevated above the darkness of the world. It does not mean to condemn or reject those who still live in darkness, but to offer them a way out and a place to dwell in peace and safety. By taking the high ground, churches are setting the example of Godly living for every generation. Christian children are to be protected from the wiles of Satan, who disguises trouble in fun and colorful packages, and makes light of things that can cause spiritual harm. For this reason, Christian churches are offering wholesome holiday entertainment while reaching out to those who are lost, and bringing them home.