Growing up, I always wanted to go trick-or-treating (hey, free candy’s hard to pass up). But my parents, being the God-fearing, God-serving people they are, never took us.
Finally, though, after much asking, one year they did let us go…to our own house. Seriously. My brother, sister, and I went out our back door, and walked around to the front to ring the door bell and get candy thrown into pillowcases by our own parents.
Yeah. One of those childhood cringe moments. Made even more cringe-worthy by my “awesome” ghost costume of a pink blanket thrown over my head while I wore a nightgown. One of many for me, but that’s another story.
And although it stunk then, not being able to go and do something which seemed so fun… I’m really grateful they didn’t let us.
Because then I started thinking.
Halloween’s origins are disputed. Some say it started out as a Roman Catholic holiday. Others say it’s leftover from the old Celtic holiday of Sanhaim. But despite the origins, the emphasis is pretty much the same.
Halloween celebrates death.
Lighting candles for the dead…praying for the dead…putting offerings of food on graves…this is what Halloween was birthed on.
Even trick-or-treating is thought to be based on a practice of exchanging food for praying for souls in purgatory.
Why are we celebrating death? God has made us alive again through our Savior Jesus Christ. All the dead who accepted His sacrifice aren’t dead: they’re alive.
Jesus Himself declares that death isn’t the end. In one of His many showdowns with the Sadducees, He says how, even in the times of the Old Testament, those who knew the truth realized there is a life beyond death:
“But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive.” (Luke 20:37-38, NIV)
Let’s leave the celebration of death to those who have no hope, who reject their Only Hope. Instead, let’s celebrate life. Both what we have to serve Him now, and what we’ll have to praise Him in eternity.
Much better than some bag of candy.