Gospel tracts are good. They aren’t good on Halloween in lieu of candy. I’m also not against Harvest Festivals, but I do think we can do better.
I used to follow along with others who frowned at Halloween. Our porch always stayed dark, but when Jesus elicits change in your life, you realize that saying no to Halloween shuts the door to all sorts of possibilities. Sure, you could go to a Harvest Festival, but you’d meet other Christians more than likely. At least, that’s been my experience. What if, instead, every Christian opened their garage and hearts to the neighborhood in which they live?
Except for last year when Halloween arrived and we didn’t even notice, we make Halloween an Oikos experience (Oikos at our church means the 10-15 people who don’t know Christ, but that are in our circle). I bake cookies and alot of them. I also borrow the church’s carafes and buy Starbucks coffee.
At dusk or slightly sooner, we open up the garage and have big poster board signs that read: “Cookies and Starbucks Coffee for adults; candy for kids.”
Yes, we cheap out on the candy. Kids will get tons of candy anyway. We beguile the adults in from the street. What is sad is the amount of people who drive door to door instead of parking down the street and walking as in the old days. There’s less and less interaction between people thanks to technology and garages. Our old pastor once said, “you drive in and shut the garage door. You never park in the street and walk to the door leaving open the possibilities of conversation with our neighbors.” Between sports and work, we are strangers in our own neighborhoods. What better way to reach your neighbors than on Halloween when everyone is out and about.
I would encourage you this year to throw open your heart and be available on Halloween. You don’t have to dress up in costume, but make your porch or home a haven that adults can hang out. Nothing attracts your neighbors more than hot coffee or hot cocoa on a cold night and fresh baked cookies. I give teenagers a choice, too.
I don’t agree that teens should trick or treat. So if they choose to be an adult, they can have coffee and cookies. If they choose to be a kid, they are only allowed candy. Most of them choose to be an adult.
Probably because I buy cheap candy, but wouldn’t it be nice if the deeper lesson of embracing adulthood would penetrate? Kids are maturing slower these days. Boys, they say, are not maturing until their thirties.
What are you doing for Halloween? If you live in Chino Valley, you are welcome to stop by our house and share in a little fellowship.
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