This will not be a somber post, let’s get that out of the way. And it’s my first one in a while because, yeah, two reading seminars in History will dominate your life. But I wanted to wade in (briefly) with a different take on the entire Halloween and Christians discussion.
In short, look past it, and remember why we celebrated it in the first place. Halloween is All Hallows’ Eve, the day before All Saints Day, the day instituted by the church to remember our dead, the martyrs who shed their blood for the faith. Rather than ask whether we should celebrate Halloween, we could ask how we ought to remember our dead: do we visit their graves? Light a candle and pray? Celebrate a Sabbath in their honor? Meditate on their lives? We too often consume ourselves with how to respond or react that we forget we’re on the offense, not the defense. Or, that non-response is even more effective.
Remembrance of the dead is a long Christian tradition, dating back to our earliest years. No matter what one believes about life after death, we all acknowledge it is important to remember our dead – and that is the essence of Halloween. To remember the power of their life, honor them for their sacrifices, praise God that we were influenced by them, and walk forward strengthened by their example.
Tertullian said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Let’s allow their example to plant a seed in us that will sprout and advance the kingdom of God. Now, if we did this, instead of bickering over whether your kid should be a vampire or Martin Luther for Halloween, how much better off would we be?
As a final aside, don’t dress your kid up as historical figures of the Reformation… I read that on one site and threw up in my mouth a little bit. We already get a bad rap for being lame, let’s not make it worse, shall we? And non-participation is a buzz kill, and Jesus was no buzz kill.