Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween and Evangelism 2013

Well, Halloween 2013 has come and gone and along with it the usual railings of some folks of whether handing out candy is approval of celebrating a day that is considered one of three  holy days to Satanists, the others being the person's birthday and the other Walpurgisnacht celebrated six months after Halloween.

As with anything we do, it is the heart attitude that is critical. In the Old Testament God was upset with His chosen people  when they sacrificed to Him because  they were just going through the motions and not really sacrificing and keeping the Torah as He prescribed. In fact they missed the point. It was about mercy and justice and attitudes of the heart which were critical.

This year my wife and I donned our Halloween costumes-- Sylvester and Tweety Bird-- and set up shop on our front porch. In previous years we participated with our church in an event called "The Pumpkin Patch Bash", an alternative safe Halloween event for children that drew up to 7,000 children across the city. There were games, candy and sometimes petting zoos and rock climb walls. This year we were unable to hold an event in the accustomed location so we took the holiday back to the homes with the "Leave Your Light On" moniker.

Patti and I were able to bless over 75 children and their parents by handing out candy (the good stuff like Snickers, Butterfingers, Almond Joys, etc.) as well as Gospel tracts that had pictures of Bats or Pumpkins on them. None of the parents objected to the tracts.

Our point was that we adapted the "holiday"-- second only to Christmas as far as commercialism goes in the United States-- to what we felt God wanted us to do. We met physical needs (candy) and spiritual needs with the Gospel tracts.

If we had been sourpusses and railed on the kinds and parents coming to our doors or just left the lights off and hunkered down inside the house we would have touched nobody. If we had been sourpusses and negative we could have easily turned people off to the message we were trying to spread, and that was Jesus loved them just where they were and so did we. The parents had more fun with us than did the kids.

Our very first set of trick or treaters were foster children. Neither had ever been trick or treating before. One appeared to be about 12 and the other about seven. The foster mother was very moved by what we were doing which was loving on her kids and coming down to their level by dressing up.  We just figured it was part of the apostle Paul's admonition to try to be all things to all people (1 Corinthians 9:22) so that some may be saved. We know she read the tracts. We also enclosed our schedule of services. 

For us it was about being obedient to what God, through the Holy Spirit was calling us to do at that point in time. It wasn't about anything except trying to reach people in a way it could be received.

Whether it is doing something like this on Halloween or just having a cup of coffee with a neighbor and simply being honest with your time at work (show up on time and don't leave early), there are many way we communicate how we  live the Gospel. That's what this Halloween 2013 was all about for us.

If you are a Christian reading this, how do you live the Gospel daily?

If you are not a Christian, meaning one who has not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, why not make life meaningful and know the King of Kings and Lord of Glory?  Ask Jesus into your heart as a little child would do and the Holy Spirit will teach you out of the written word of God how to follow Him and turn rote ceremonies and customs into something meaningful.

God bless.