Ways to celebrate Halloween!
I really enjoyed reading this part of the book, "Redeeming Halloween". It gave insight that I hadn't really considered.
We can use Halloween to train our children to reach the lost through the fun of trick-or-treating! There are a variety of stories about the roots of trick-or-treating, which I'm not going to spend a lot of time on. You can read the book for their view or google it online. I didn't find anything "evil" about trick-or-treating. Some people did take "mischief" night to the extreme and caused great damage, but ultimately trick-or-treating was used to encourage "good" children to dress up and have fun with good behavior.
By simply changing the focus, you can let this be used as a light to others. For example, when your child is picking out their costume, have them change their focus to the needs of the spiritually lost. Have them dress like a character that represents someone or a group they want to tell about Jesus. (Elvis could represent the stars who need Jesus. A football player could represent those living without Jesus in the sports culture. A Ninja could represent praying for the list in Asia). The idea here is to change your child's focus to be thinking about Jesus AND at the same time,you're teaching them about all the lost people out there, while still making this fun.
- Brainstorm the places and people where the gospel has been rejected.
- Let the kids share their ideas.
- Keep an open mind...even dressing as a sea creature could represent sailors or fishermen. :) Remember, having fun is a legitimate goal and an important part of celebrating.
- Do some research about the people your child's costume represents. Remind them that to reach someone, it is necessary to understand them.
- Talk about how people who have not accepted Jesus have been "tricked" into believing they don't need Him, but that God wants them to receive the greatest "treat", salvation through Jesus and eternal life in heaven. Love this!!!!!
- Make a list of specific ways your children can pray for that group of people to be prepared to hear the gospel. Include asking God to send workers into that mission field.
- Each night for a week before or after Halloween, pray with your children for their chosen country, people, group, or culture.
- After you arrive home and admire the abundance of candy, finish the night with a Scripture verse that promises sweet rewards for those who do God's work on earth. "It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing [good things] when he returns" Luke 12:43 And, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15. What Scriptures can you find??? I'd love to have a whole list! Include your verses in the comment section at the bottom of this post!
- Help your children see that while trick-or-treating can be a fun time one night a year, following God and sharing the good news of Jesus is an adventure that lasts a whole lifetime.
- Finish your night with prayer. Thank God that someone told you about Jesus, and ask Him to use your family to do the same for others.
An important part of any seasonal celebration. It sets the mood, symbolically communicates a message, and adds some plain old fun. We can use lights at Halloween to testify to a needy world. For some of you who have not celebrated Halloween is the past, Be aware: Decorating is "coming out of the closet." And you may just get the opportunity to explain why you chose to celebrate a holy Halloween. :)
Ways to light your home:
- String white Christmas lights on your home.
- Make luminaries to line your walkway or drive.
- Rope lights can be used to make a cross. That will not go unnoticed!
Ways to make your home a "light":
- Banners - use a phrase from Scripture (ex. "Jesus, the Light of the World", "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear", etc)
- Make a wreath for your front door that uses wheat and other harvest items. Display on the wreath the following verse: "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." 1 Corinthians 15:20
- Decorate with harvest items such as hay bales, scarecrows, or pumpkins. Display "harvest" verses with your decorations such as John 4:35, Matthew 9:37, or Luke 10:2
Tips for pumpkin carving:
- Be like a Halloween pumpkin: a source of light on a dark night. As your family carves their pumpkin, use it as a teaching moment:
- Cutting open the top: Have the mind of Christ to think and act as He would 1 Corinthians 2:16
- Cleaning out the seeds: Confess your sins so God can clean them out 1 John 1:9
- Carving new eyes: Instead of looking for the faults of others, use your eyes to examine your own faults first. Matthew 7:3-5
- Carving a nose: Don't be a proud person with your nose in the air or you will be the cause of many arguments. Proverbs 13:10
- Carving ears: Listen to gain knowledge and tun your ears to wisdom from others. Proverbs 23:12
- Carving a mouth: Let your words be sweet so that they will bless others. Proverbs 16:24
- Lighting the candle: When you try to think, act, see, listen, and speak as Christ, then "your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, [and] it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you." Luke 11:36
Use the carving process to share the gospel:
- Cut the pumpkin open and reveal the mess inside: No matter how our life looks on the outside, our life is really a mess and hopeless without God because of our sin. Romans 3:23
- Turn the pumpkin upside down and try to shake out the mess: We can't get rid of or own sin. Just as a pumpkin will rot and be left useless as it is, left with our sin, we will also face ruin. Romans 6:23
- The pumpkin is helpless to take its own mess away and needs our help: We are helpless to take our sin away and we need help too. Romans 5:6,8
- Remove the seeds and slime from the inside of the pumpkin: God sent Jesus to do what we couldn't, take away our sins. Romans 10:9
- Show the clean and empty pumpkin: Once the mess has been taken away, a new space has been created for something better. Ephesians 4:22-32
- Cut a joyful face in the pumpkin: Joy is one of the first things that God uses to fill that empty space. Romans 15:13
- Place a candle inside the pumpkin and light it: Now our lives are a place where God lives, and when we obey Him, the light of His goodness shines through us. John 8:12
- Set the newly carved pumpkin next to an uncarved one: When we trust Jesus to take away our sins, He makes us into a whole new creature, full of joy and light. 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Set your pumpkin out for all to see, but as you do, tell your children that the pumpkin will eventually rot and perish: Those with the real light of Christ, though, will never perish, because we have eternal life. John 3:16
I'll post more stuff soon! Click here for part 4.
In the mean time, remember to share your ideas by clicking on "comments" below. :)