10.23.2010

My Thoughts on Halloween

I did not grow up trick or treating and we don't do it now with our 8-yr old son.  My parents were not religious, but they didn't want their daughter going to strangers' homes in the dark to bring home candy.  I never felt like I was missing out either, when all my neighborhood friends went.  That was just me.  I've always had an independent streak.  Finally, when I was 15, I agreed to go with a group of girls.  They made fun of, and played pranks on the older folks. I'm stuffy like that. I did not enjoy it and never went again.  In fact, I think I left them early.

I have a friend who tells me to "lighten up," and in general I could probably lighten up a bit.  But I personally feel that it is not OK to "lighten up" about Death, which to a Christian is the Enemy, no matter how fun and pretty or cute this society makes it.

Our pastor is preaching on 1 Corinthians 8, which has something to do with Christian liberty - as in living your own conscience (based on the Bible.)   I do not condemn my Christian friends who feel differently than I do, and I am in no position to judge people who do not have the same belief system as I.

Our church asks us to consider using this time to interact with neighbors. They ask us to stretch ourselves so that we are living IN the world; not segregated from it.  I totally agree.  However, using Christian Liberty, I understand that others don't or can't feel comfortable going to a bar.  I have no such compunction.  I remember one of my most interesting conversations about my faith occurring at a steelworker's bar in Pittsburgh over a couple of beers.  I, in turn, don't feel comfortable being in the Halloween setting.  It's not because I'm weak or in denial; it's something that I've come to believe over decades of thought.  Cuz, you know, I think a lot!  We choose to interact with our neighbors throughout the year.  For the last two summers, Boo and I would go strawberry picking (at local organic farms,) then bring a pint to several of our neighbors.  It is a delightful time for mother and son, and a delightful reason to talk to our neighbors.  I hope it is a great lesson for our son to learn the joys of giving, the joys of relating.

Wouldn't you know?? even though we are very low-key about why we don't celebrate Halloween, ("It's just not something we do."  "We don't celebrate death.")  our son is endlessly fascinated by it. (insert eyeroll here) But at this point, it's a non-negotiable for us.  How will we handle it in the years to come?  I don't know, but I know this:

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet*" and I will trust our God will guide us, step by step, like the soft, gentle light from a lantern.

*Psalm 119:105

3 comments:

Amy said...

It's so good to get to a point when you're comfortable enough to just go with your true conviction. Me, I don't care much about Halloween either way. People who abstain aren't missing out on much, but I don't think people who dive in are necessarily celebrating death. Some are. Gotta love that Christian Liberty. And candy.

Lora said...

I went trick or treating as a big kid after skipping a few years when I was too cool to go (or something) and I was appalled by big kid trick or treating. It isn't ANYTHING like little kid trick or treating.

Also, there are very few homes in my neighborhood that give out candy or even have a light on anymore. The ones that do are either way into it or just do it for oldentimes sake.

We don't give out candy, but we do take Jake around my aunt's neighborhood and then we go to the house and eat soup and talk and hang out while we watch her give out candy to the few kids that come around.

Oh, my point, right...
The thing that I think is such a riot is the church celebrations. Where kids dress up and get candy in the fellowship hall and it is all fun and games. What?!? I find that to be insulting to the faith and beliefs that are preached there during the rest of the year. And don't even get me started on what costumes I've seen in church. Don't even get me started.

blackbelt said...

There's a saying something like "an unexamined life is not worth living." I don't go that far, but many people don't examine to any great depth what they are doing. Including me.