The Christian Lessons of Halloween
Three things we can learn from Halloween--by way of the Bible.
I've heard all the uptight brouhaha about Halloween. It's a pagan holiday. It gives the devil more than his due. It lures innocents to the dark side. My response to all that hue and cry is, "Lighten up!" There are spiritual lessons-scriptural lessons-amid all the tricks and treats of this holiday.
Lesson One: Diversity Is Good--in Candy Sacks and Community
All kids have a rating scale for a neighborhood's trick-or-treating. Where could we make an efficient but abundant haul? Which neighbors gave the most candy? To my mind, the best ones were those who gave full-size Three Musketeers bars. My sister preferred Good 'n' Plenty. My friend loved Mounds. How anyone could prefer licorice or coconut to chocolate was beyond me, but it made for very satisfying swapping as we counted and sorted afterwards. In a small, snack-sized way, I learned that difference and diversity were important in creating a happy whole.
Herein lies the first lesson, my version of 1 Corinthians 12:17 ("If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?"): If the whole body were a Three Musketeers Bar, where were the Good 'n' Plenty? And if the whole were Good 'n' Plenty, where were the Mounds? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. ...now are they many members, yet one body.
Lesson Two: Overcoming Fear Pays Off
When I was little, I was normally scared of going up to doors of neighbors my parents knew but I didn't. But Halloween gave me a legitimate reason--indeed, a candy mandate--to venture beyond my comfort zone. On that night, I overcame my shyness and talked to grown-ups. (Granted, the script was limited: "Trick or Treat!" followed by "Thank you!")