The word Halloween is actually a shortening of the phrase “All Hallow's Eve.” In the church, this is the night before All Saint's Day, when we remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died and passed on to glory. To hallow something means to make it holy, and so this is a holy night of remembering the dead.
I'm one who is always thinking about what witness we as disciples are presenting to the world. Do we want those who do not yet know Jesus to see us with darkened and unwelcoming front porches, eschewing this cultural celebration of costumes and candy, or do we want to embrace this once-a-year opportunity to have strangers knocking on our door seeking hospitality?
How might our neighbors respond if they see us as the generous and welcoming folks who offer FULL SIZE candy-bars and other alternative treats (like play-dough!) for kids who cannot (or should not...) eat so much sugar? How might our neighbors perspective of the church shift if along with those generous full sized treats if we offer them a “God bless you” upon their departure, or even a little note taped to the treat that reads, “God loves you, and so do we. Signed – the people of St. John United Methodist Church).
This Halloween I want to encourage you to use this unique opportunity to be a generous, welcoming blessing to the children and families who will grace your doorstep seek hospitality. When we seek to be a blessing, God will always use that effort for God's glory. Happy Halloween!
All grace and peace,
Hebrews 13:2 Don’t neglect to open up your homes to guests, because by doing this some have been hosts to angels without knowing it (Common English Bible)