Recently I was reminded that Halloween is just around the corner (thanks Cassie!) and have been thinking about the different ways that churches and individual Christian families can respond. The idea of celebrating darkness and things of the night goes against the grain with Christians who have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son (Col 1v12-13).
In previous years I have attended a ‘Light Up the Night’ walk in Wolverhampton and friends in Wolves have organised a Light Party. Someone else I talked to had organised the young people from their church to go door to door with lanterns giving out sweets and treats rather than asking for them. In our small church, we’re not really at the stage of being able to organise a party or walk, but we always ensure we have a supply of sweeties and Christian tracts to give to the visiting ghouls. The Good Book Company and 10ofthose supply some, although I feel there’s probably a gap in the market for something a little less wordy.
I also get the visiting kids to perform a joke or song for their sweeties. In Scotland, where the Vicar grew up, Halloween was a night for guising (it’s mentioned at the bottom of the Wikipedia page) – dressing up and going door to door with a wee show for the residents, for which they would give you a treat. So beware, you’ll need to have practiced if you come to my door at the end of half term.
And just the other day I was pointed to a blog post with a devotional based around carving a pumpkin. It’s a lot less weird than it sounds and I think I might try this with my kids this year.
So, how will you and your church be responding to Halloween this year? I’d love some extra inspiration. I’ll leave the poll open for a week.