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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTIANS

Just Like a Pumpkin

A friend asked me, “What is it like to be a Christian?”
I answered, “It’s like being a pumpkin”.
God chooses you from His patch,
brings you in and washes all the dirt off of you.
He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of fear, envy, hate, anger and disbelief.
Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”

Many Christian parents wonder if they should celebrate Halloween with their children.  We always have.  We are not celebrating evil witches and scary monsters.  We’re participating in a ‘holiday’ that is fun to prepare for – costumes and carved pumpkins, candy apples and Carmel corn, and best of all, seeing the adorable neighborhood children come to our door in costume.  If you explore the history of Halloween, you’ll find, like most every other holiday, it has Christian roots.
It’s difficult to pin down a date specific, but we can probably go back as far as the early hundreds A.D., or the more common usage now – C.E. meaning ‘Christian Era’.  The Druids, who were priests of ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that witches, demons and spirits of the dead roamed the earth on the eve of November 1st.  Bonfires were lit to drive away any bad spirits that might be present.  To protect themselves, they offered treats, like candy, and disguised themselves to look like them so they wouldn’t be harmed.  And, this is where the question ‘Trick or Treat?’ comes from.
 
What a perfect holiday for children who love the mysteries of witches and gremlins, the excitement of being scared, getting dressed up into a ‘make believe’ person, eating candy, and carving  pumpkins into what we commonly call ‘jack –o’- lanterns. I’d like to know where that name came from. Halloween is celebrated globally.  Children in Britain and many other countries make their jack-o’-lanterns from turnips, here in the U.S. and in Canada, we use pumpkins.  This time of year, you’ll find fields of these beautiful, round orange symbols of the coming fall and fun!
Roman Catholic Pope Gregory IV authorized “All Saints Day” in 837.  It’s been around a while!  This day was set aside to honor all the saints who had no ‘special day’.  Saints were known as ‘hallowed’ or ‘holy ones’ and the name ‘All Hollows Day’ was given.  The night before this day was called, ‘All Hallows Even’ and eventually became shortened to Halloween.

In 1978 my husband and I visited the Vatican in Rome.  It was November 1st and we were in the center of the square waiting for the newly elected Pope, John Paul II, to appear and address the crowd of about 100,000 people.  This was the Polish Pope who spoke so many languages.  He gave his short message in five languages that day, very impressive!  We were thrilled to be there, and were mesmerized by the beauty of the statues that lined the roof line, like soldiers guarding a palace.  Suddenly we realized that we were about the only ones left in the square.  It was a mystery to us how quickly everyone had disappeared.  I’ll never forget that special ‘All Saints Day’!
There are ways to accentuate the Christian heritage of this day.  We’ve often made a little pumpkin sign that we plant by the front door that says “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”  - Joshua 24:15.  We’ve also included ‘JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN’ printed out on orange paper, with a pumpkin for decoration, and add this to their bag of candy.  Our hope is that parents will read this, and those who don’t know the Lord will have a better understanding of Who He is, and what He’s done!  So simple, so appropriate and so Biblical. 

Jesus permeates our life in ways we never think of or look for.  I thank you Lord that we can see your influence all around us and help us to be reminded that YOU are the genesis of our celebrations.

Find a blessing in Halloween!