Halloween is often a daunting holiday to some Christians. Should it be celebrated? Should it be avoided? Rather than calling it a church “Halloween Party”, should it be called a “Harvest Fest” instead? Should it be feared since there is talk of the dead and demons? The questions are endless and the headaches are plentiful. But praise be to God Almighty for providing us several ways to tackle October 31. Spoiler alert — they are all celebratory.
1. Celebrating Christ’s victory over darkness.
Halloween is often depicted as a day of darkness or a day when demons and evil are celebrated. As a Christian, how do we celebrate this? Well, we don’t. Our celebration comes from Jesus’ words in John 8:12. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (ESV). We celebrate because we follow the light, not the darkness. We celebrate because we follow a God who beat evil and buried it forever. We celebrate because God proclaims over each of us this truth about who we are: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV). As Christians, we don’t have to fear evil or demons or anything else the world might throw at us on Halloween. We can stand confident that the one who triumphs over evil lives within us and has dominion over any evil around us.
2. “October 31st? You mean Reformation Day?”
Another way to celebrate October 31 is to celebrate it in reference to Reformation Day. In 1517, Martin Luther compiled his 95 theses, also known as 95 truths, about the Christian religion that differed from the Pope’s beliefs. His desire was to nail the document containing his theses to the church door in hopes of reforming the beliefs of his church. Rather, after a chain of events, the church exiled him and the Protestantism and the Reformation movement began. Even though these movements were not Martin Luther’s original intent, his actions provided a way for Protestant believers to understand scripture is the highest authority in a Christian’s life, and no man or church can replace that.
To understand God’s Word has authority over all? I’d say that’s reason enough to celebrate!
If you want to learn more about Martin Luther and Reformation Day, check out The Astonishing Story Of Martin Luther & Reformation Day.
3. Host a Harvest Festival!
By now, I hope you are able to see two extraordinary reasons to celebrate Halloween and October 31. However, even though there are other reasons to celebrate this day, here’s one more that you and your church can participate in. Throw a Halloween Harvest Fest! Many people don’t care for Halloween because it seems unsafe to allow children to travel from door-to-door, asking for candy from strangers. One way to provide a safe atmosphere for kiddos and your community is to host an event at your church. Throwing a Halloween Harvest Fest or whatever clever name you and your church come up with can be a great idea! Celebrate the truths of Jesus overcoming darkness. Celebrate Martin Luther providing a way for believers to stand firm on the Word of God. Play games. Give out candy. Encourage people to join together for the sake of the Gospel. It is a great opportunity, not only for your kids to be safe, but it also gives you a chance to invite people to come. It is difficult sometimes to invite people to church or a bible study, but inviting a family to join you at a Halloween Harvest Fest where there are not only games and candy, but also truths that point back to Jesus can be a great opportunity for someone to experience our Heavenly Father.
So there are three reasons and ways Halloween doesn’t have to be so scary. God is good, and he wants us to understand he is the light and he is greater than any darkness the world can throw at us, especially at Halloween.
In the New Testament, Luke reminds us of what our Almighty God said he will do for us: Give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:79 paraphrased).
Does this mean we forgo dressing up our kiddos or ourselves as our favorite athlete, cartoon character, animal or any other countless costume you can muster up? Not necessarily. Before you draw the curtains and hunker down in the basement, ignoring the sound of your doorbell being pushed by little girls in princess costumes, ask yourself if any of the following are reasons for your barricade: fear, condemnation of those celebrating this day, traditional conservative religion, or any other way that goes against the freedom we have in Jesus. As Halloween approaches, take your family and walk through your identity as a believer. Walk through the truths of who Jesus is. Walk through the various names of God throughout scripture. Pretend to nail Martin Luther’s 95 Theses to your door so you can further explain the amazing power of the Word of God to your family. If you do any of this, you will want to get out and celebrate. You’ll want to celebrate the awesome power of our Lord God Almighty from saving us from darkness and giving us a way to worship him forever in heaven. Lucky enough for you, there are people in your neighborhood with lights on ready to open their doors and provide you candy for this blessed celebration.
If you have children that still struggle with fear on this day, don’t feel like you are left to your own devices! Here’s an article over How to Overcome Fear that will give you insight and help you as you help your children. Also don’t hesitate to ask your pastor or another church leader for advice. God is good and he always provides ways for his light to shine in darkness.