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Be Careful Out There Tonight!

October 31, 2019

Leadership Notes

It happened a long time ago. Not in a galaxy far, far away, but right here in Tecumseh. It was the Sunday before Halloween. Someone had invited her neighbor, who was looking for a new church home, to worship. As was my habit, the Sunday before Halloween, I always talked to the kids about safety. I would say something like, "If you do go out trick-or-treating, watch for cars, carry a flashlight, and make sure an adult is with you." Practical reminders like that. Then I'd give each child a candy treat, and share with them what my favorite candy was, just in case they wanted to bring me back something the next Sunday. It was simple, practical, and fun.

It was also the last thing that invited guest expected to hear in church. As she explained to her friend, she couldn't believe the pastor of a Christian church would talk about Halloween. It is a pagan event of demonic proportions. She didn't make a second visit.

I understand the point. I just don't agree. I understand the point about the pagan ties to Halloween. I get that. That's why some churches offer trunk-or-treat events to capture the positive cultural side of Halloween without buying into its darker side. I get that.

There are also pagan elements to the way we celebrate Easter and Christmas. Nothing horrible and nothing that would be a gateway to demonism. Just more evidence of the inevitability of how culture can get woven into the fabric of how we live and breathe. There are some things in life that I see not in terms of good or evil, but they just are. For me, going door-to-door, in costume, asking for candy {what a concept!} is something that just is. I respect the opinion of anyone who sees it otherwise.

Here's what I'll be doing tonight. I'll be sitting in my driveway from 6:00-8:00 handing out candy. I love interacting with neighbors. I love seeing kids from church. I love when kids make the connection that I'm the one who reads to their kindergarten class every week. I love brief moments of levity with parents. Tonight is one of those rare occurrences when entire neighborhoods are out and about, interacting and sharing life together.

Do I think some people use Halloween as an excuse to get carried away with debauchery and licentiousness? Sure. Everything can be corrupted by sinful human nature. Is that reason for me not to have two hours of fun, encouragement, and laughter? Obviously not. I am not a culture warrior. I am not a virtue signaler. Rather than pick battles, more often than not, I simply want to love my family and love my community, because, through Jesus Christ, I am loved by God.

Godspeed, and Let's Be Careful Out There,


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