We live in an area that loves Halloween. Each year hundreds of kids get dressed up and walk around the street trick or treating. Families decorate their gardens and really embrace this event. Until this year we’ve done the complete opposite. We’ve closed our curtains; told our girls we don’t get involved and had an early night.
A couple of things have changed my mind, firstly my kids are getting older and asking more questions about why we don’t get involved. Secondly, I’ve realised afresh that there is no need to be afraid, there is still light and hope. I am trying to, in the words of Charlie Mackesey “imagine how we’d be if we weren’t afraid”.
Rachel Denhollander has written an excellent book she comments on the theme of light and darkness. Rachel says “the darkness is there, and we cannot ignore it. But we can let it point us to the light.” COVID19 has brought up more of humanity’s darkness and put it at the forefront of our everyday lives. This, of all times, is a time to be like porch lights in our communities, offering welcome, hospitality, light and hope. We can do this because we know there is someone who can make our dark world light and a little less scary.
It’s the one time in the year that people knock on our door wanting something from us. And yet we chose not to engage. Why is that? Why do we retreat and run a mile? It’s like it’s a Christian cultural faux pas handed down from generation to generation. As I reflect on Halloween, I wonder what has happened to our understanding of Matthew 5. Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We’d love you to join us this year. Maybe you could put up something in your window or string some fairy lights around your drive. Whatever you do, don’t retreat, do something and take seriously the call to let your light shine before others.
5 ways to make the most of Halloween
• Give away
• Join in
Share: Most parents have social media, the Halloween weekend is a great time to share a video on your social media and tag friends in that you want to watch it. One video we love sharing is Speak Life excellent video Halloween Trick or Treat? Or The Lost Sun by Scripture Union.
Decorate: your windows or your house as a house of light. You can communicate so much through a window display, a silhouette or creative decorations. Houses across the UK decided to light up their windows last year with the #StreetsOfLight campaign. If you’re a creative sort then download a template and get creating or have a look here for more inspiration.
Invite: friends to a local light party or if you have capacity. run one through your church or local community. We have an excellent Light Party in our local church, over 200 families and children attend each year. If you don’t have one near you, why not consider running one in your church or local community with other Christians. SU have some great resources here.
Give away: things from your drive way gifts bags full of sweets, colouring in sheets, tracts, stickers or an invite to church. Have a look at resources at 10 of Those. Last year we filled bags with glow sticks, sweets and a little story of light. We gave away 600 through the evening.
Join in: Join or run a Halloween trail. Last year and this year we’re running a local Halloween trail. We’ll be the House of Light on the trail which means even more people will come and visit. Through this we’ve made loads of friends and had a great opportunity to be a family that shares about Jesus in our community. Read more here if you want to see what we did.
What will you do this year? How will you engage with Halloween?
Halloween can often be a time associated with ghosts, devils and darkness, this is a time to share the good news that Jesus is the light of the world. How will you share the good news of Jesus this year? It might seem a bit intimidating to do this on your own. Why not invite a few Christians in your area to join you to plan and pray together for this opportunity. Or find out if others in your area are planning on decorating their homes and invite them round to chat about it how you can do that together as a community. Whatever you do, this, of all times, is a time to be like porch lights in our communities, offering welcome, hospitality, light and hope.
Author: Nay Dawson
Nay works with IFES Europe as their Regional Training Co-Ordinator, previously she worked for UCCF since graduating in a variety of roles. She is the founder of Passion for Evangelism. PfE is a network of creative, public female evangelists.Nay runs an Etsy shop called Houses of Light that sells attractive postcards that tell stories that raise curiosity about Jesus.