With it being October (that is just plain crazy!), I thought it only fitting to do a post on Halloween! My kids woke up this morning discussing our costume options for this year. We have always dressed in coordinating costumes, and seeing that Canaan is about to reach double digits (oh…my…goodness…seeing that in writing makes me want to cry!!! when the heck did that happen??)…anyway…i probably only have another year or two where he still thinks its cool to coordinate his costume with his little sisters, so i’ve got to capitalize on it while I can! We have a few ideas floating around, but we are open to thoughts, so if you have any ideas for coordinating costumes for 3, send them my way!
Today i’m gonna intersperse (is that a word?) all of our previous costumes within this post for you to see. But while you peek at the pictures, read along on my thoughts on Halloween, and why we choose to participate in the holiday.
Halloween is one of those things, like Santa Claus, that has the tendency to drive a wedge between people. Some people choose to not participate in Halloween because of the evil origins of the holiday. I totally get that! But I thought it might be helpful to explain why, as believers, our family actually LOVES Halloween!
(Winne the Pooh and Pooh’s “Hunny” Pot:
We are big believers in “being in the world but not of the world.” (John 15:19) in other words, we believe its purposeful that we live at this time, in this place, in this culture, with these people. just as Jesus entered the world and culture that He lived in, so do we. however, we believe that we can still participate in culture and the secular traditions of this world, but not indulge in the “evil” parts of them…the “in but not of” part of that verse.
We believe that God has called us to certainly reject parts of our culture but also to be a part of helping to redeem parts of our culture…to take what has been used for evil purposes and instead use them for the purpose and glory of God and His Kingdom. kinda like how we use the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas…we can be apart of culture and engage in the things of this world, but instead make them about Jesus…use them as opportunities to shine light in dark places. although I understand that Halloween has its roots in pagan practices, we don’t see any reason why we as believers cannot overturn that purpose and instead make it about ministry and incarnation with our friends and neighbors….be apart of the Redemptive work that God is actively doing in our world.
(Curious “Georgette” and the Man in the Yellow Hat
That is why we LOVE Halloween. we view Halloween as one way of engaging in culture, with people. we see it as missional. in our experience, Halloween has been an amazing opportunity to be with our neighbors. sometimes, as Christians, in our efforts to be “set apart,” we end up missing great opportunites to relate to and incarnate into other people’s lives. i think we do a much greater disservice to God’s Children in this world when we make ourselves so separate, and so unrelateable, by never engaging in anything secular.
our family has chosen to live in this world, just as Jesus did, instead of living as if we are not apart of this world. whether we like to believe it or not, we are still stuck in the “in between”…the “almost”, but the “not yet.” in other words, as we wait in great anticipation for eternity with Jesus, we live in the world He has placed us in in the meantime, and we love because He first loves us. we like to believe that we are loving others when we do not live as if we are better than, or so separate from, the rest of the world. we desire for everyone we meet to see Jesus glorified in us, but we believe one of the best ways to do that is to engage with others within the world that Jesus has placed us in right now. afterall, that’s exactly the ministry that Jesus did for us…He came into our world, met us in the midst of where we are, and showed us His great love.
our family’s ministry and outreach mindset is incarnation…we SO desire to enter into the lives of the people we love, incarnate into their world, go where they are. that’s the kind of ministry that we believe that Jesus did, and we want to love people like that too. our thought is that we want to use Halloween as a means of engaging with our neighbors, and demonstrate that, as Christians, we can still enjoy traditions and cultures without participating in the evil parts of them….part of the redemption process that we believe is happening right now…Jesus making all things new.
(Peter Pan and Tinkerbell
(we came out in full force as Captain Hook and Wendy too!)
It’s amazing how there are so many opportunities to use the things in culture as a starting point for discussions of the Gospel with our kids. i so desire my kids to view the world through a “gospel lens.” to see everything about our culture and our world as it relates to Jesus and the Good News….to see everything that we do, and every decision we make, as one to advance the Kingdom of God.
too often we try to split the spiritual from the secular. our approach to life is to live as spiritual within the secular. in other words…i don’t believe there is an ounce of this world (secular) that is not in some way spiritual, because i believe God is present in it all. does that mean we indulge in all things secular? absolutely not! but can God show His glory in anything He chooses, even “secular” things? absolutely! therefore, we do try to take things that are secular and mainstream and use them to Glorify God.
The Bible says in Luke 19, that if we keep silent about the good news of Jesus, that even the rocks will cry out. In other words, all of Creation is praising God, at all times, everywhere. It reminds me that God is the Lord of ALL…He is in everything! If God will use even the rocks to cry out the Good News of His grace and mercy, what makes us think that He cannot use holidays like Halloween to do so too? In other words, I think the Gospel can be seen in absolutely everything. That is honestly one of the main ways we teach our kids about Jesus in the day to day…by taking seemingly ordinary, even worldly or secular things, and finding the truth of God’s goodness and grace and mercy within them. (our Elf is an example of that. You can read more about it here.) that, my friends, is an absolutely beautiful privilege that we have as believers.
(Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
It makes me think of this verse:
1 Peter 2:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
we have been called out of darkness and into light! We know that, trust that, and believe that. Which makes us believe that we have a greater power in us…one that allows us to enter into culture, that in ways is dark and depraved, and bring with us the glorious light of our Rescuer!
(that glow in the dark)
as for Halloween, we do set parameters and boundaries. we do not allow our kids to dress in scary or evil costumes. we don’t use evil or scary decorations. we don’t go to Horror Houses, watch scary movies, etc. for our kids, its just another fun night that we get to participate in as a family, with friends and neighbors. they know that we avoid the evil parts of it, and that it might look different for us than for some of their friends, but being able to participate while avoiding the evil things is a small way that they are a part of that redemption process too.
i read this quote once that i love:
“Perhaps instead of fleeing the darkness in fear, we should view Halloween as an opportunity to mock the enemy whose power over us has been broken.”
we LOVE that thought. that’s how we feel about Halloween
(A Tornado and A Hurricane:
(and we dressed as Storm Chasers. pretty fitting description of our lives )
as with all things on this blog, these are only my opinions and my explanation of how we operate within our family. i do NOT believe that everyone has to do things the way we do! i do NOT believe that you are wrong or incorrect if you choose to do things differently than us! in fact, i have some very dear friends who do not wish to participate in Halloween, and i totally appreciate and respect that. i am a firm believer in that God calls each family to different things. we do not believe at all that our way is the right way or the only way. Can you still love your neighbors, even when not participating in Halloween? ABSOLUTELY!! can you still be incarnational, and relatable and ministerial while not engaging in Halloween? OF COURSE!! can you still be apart of the redemption happening in this world if you choose to sit out Halloween? TOTALLY! The explanation in this post is just how God has convicted my family’s hearts and how He has opened doors of ministry for us through the celebration of Halloween. however, i love that He uses us each individually and uniquely. that’s what makes the work of Redemption that He is doing so amazing…He can use absolutely anything to accomplish his purposes…even if those things look different!
just my thoughts on the subject! feel free to share your’s too, however i ask ahead of time that all comments stay positive in nature, and are in no way attacking either side, or they will be removed. this tired momma doesn’t have time to engage in back and forth debates
and send your triple costume ideas my way if you’ve got any!
PS: and if you do celebrate Halloween, then you might like this post here for details on our Alternative to Pumpkin Carving: