Disclaimer: I don’t like Halloween.
I feel like that is quite a bold statement to make, especially among the blogging community. For the past couple of weeks, my Twitter timeline and Bloglovin’ feed has been full of people gearing up for Halloween. (that’s not even mentioning the number of pumpkins I’ve seen on Instagram…)
But something about it all jars with me. The whole idea of dressing up and celebrating the evil spirits and the creatures of the night just feels wrong. I mean, yes, I know I’m not the biggest fan of horror films, or even thrillers. You’re talking to the girl who couldn’t watch ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ when she was younger because she was too afraid of the White Witch. And no, I haven’t watched it since.
It could just be a family thing – we’ve never ‘done’ Halloween. The 31st October and the weekend nearest has always been the evening to hide in the house, with a sign on the door saying ‘No Trick or Treaters’, and we just wouldn’t answer the doorbell. I’ve never carved a pumpkin (that said, I’d love to try at some point.)
If I’m honest, there’s a huge part of me that’s scared by the whole event. I feel like Halloween has become far more prominent in recent years; potentially influenced by the American take on the event. Yet, from what I see, Halloween is more tied together with Thanksgiving in the US, and doesn’t have quite the same dark undertones as we see in the UK. I’ve been challenged over the last couple of years by the increase in Halloween parties. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse: parties and Halloween all in one? No thanks. But why do people want to spend time dressing up as devils, zombies, vampires? – the list could go on.
I’m one of the biggest fans of the colours of autumn; I love the leaves, the turning of the seasons, and the effect that the low sun has on the area around me. I’m just frustrated that Halloween turns up bang smack in the middle.
This year, I’m looking at Halloween in a slightly different light. We’re not putting the sign on the door, and instead I’m being challenged to tackle it head on. At church this year we’ve made an effort to challenge the darkness with the light. We’ve run a Light Party, attended by over 250 people – where we had the opportunity to share the truth in God’s promises, and that His light shines in the darkness. It’s an important truth to remember, regardless of what time of year it is. But as the days grow shorter; dark is longer, and the winter months draw in, it’s more important than ever to remember that we can find light and hope in Jesus.
We’re also going on a new initiative this year – ‘Truth ‘n’ Treat’. Our aim is to be the light in our community, on one of the ‘darkest’ nights of the year. I’ll be interested to share my thoughts on this afterwards – but the important thing out of this is:
‘God is light and in him is no darkness at all.’
– 1 John 1:5
When it comes down to it, Halloween is only one night of the year. But God is eternal, and omnipresent – as are his promises. I’m clinging to the light this year; are you?