Halloween is nearly upon us again. In the US, I have no doubt, the shops have been draped in black and orange decorations and festooned with fake cobwebs for weeks. They make a BIG deal of it over there, and I was amazed to learn that most Christians have no problem with letting their children carve pumpkin lanterns, dress up in strange costumes, and trawl the neighbourhood asking their neighbours (who the rest of the year they only see from the safety of their car windows as they drive in and out or their garages) for sweets.
‘Trick or Treating’ has existed over here for as long as I can remember, but Christians have generally been very wary of it. After all, it is a celebration of evil, not to mention the one day of the year when we throw all rules out of the window and tell children they can not only talk to strangers, but take sweets from them, too.
Sometimes churches have held ‘Hallelujah Parties’ to prove that it’s not that we’re against fun, we just want to celebrate what’s good, not what is evil. Others have held prayer meetings, or just ignored the event altogether.
I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but my sense has been that much of the British Christian response to Halloween has been motivated by fear. We are afraid of the evil and the darkness being celebrated. We search for a response that will allow us to stand strong against it and not let it prevail. (While in the US, they happily join in, albeit with their kids as likely to wear princess or superhero costumes as zombie ones.)
While I agree that we should not take evil lightly, and I understand that many of those who are heavily into the occult etc do take full advantage of ‘their’ day, when I saw this video, by Glen Scrivener, recently, I was thrilled by its wonderfully positive, hopeful, God-glorifying perspective.
It’s a poem – but don’t let that put you off, even if poetry’s not your thing – it’s absolutely stunning. Beautifully written, beautifully read, and with a beautiful video, it brought me to tears of joy and celebration.
No trick – just an absolute treat.
The triumph is not with the forces of night.
It dawned with the One who said “I am the Light!”