This photo was taken early this month when I was visiting the beautiful Dallas Arboretum.
I've always enjoyed this explanation of what it's like to be a Christian.
JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God chooses you from His patch brings you in and washes all the dirt off. 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 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, carmel corn, and best of all, the adorable neighborhood children who come to our door in costume.
If you explore the history of Halloween, you’ll find, like many other holidays, 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. 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. This is where the question 'Trick or Treat?' comes from. They also wore a disguise or costume to look like the imagined spirits so they wouldn’t be harmed.Halloween is a fun event for children who love the mysteries of witches and gremlins and the excitement of being scared. What fun they have dressing up as a ‘make believe’ character, eating candy, and carving pumpkins into what we commonly call jack-o’-lanterns.
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
beautiful round orange-colored squash, the symbol of 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’ thus the name ‘All Hollows Day’. 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 new Pope, John Paul II, to appear and address the crowd of about 100,000
people. He gave his short message in five languages. Very impressive! We were
thrilled to be there, and were mesmerized by the beauty of the statues along
the roofline of the building. They stood like soldiers guarding a palace.
Suddenly we realized that we were among the few left in the square. It was a
mystery to us how quickly everyone had disappeared. I’ll never forget that
special ‘All Saints Day’ and how one hundred thousand people simply vanished in
a blink of an eye. Or so it seemed.
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. Help us to find a blessing in Halloween.