Would Jesus Celebrate Halloween?
I love fall. My birthday is in Fall. We finally get a little relief from the hot summer. Change and leaves and excitement begin to swirl in the air.
As much as I love Autumn, I wish I could hide away under the cover the last two weeks of October because I hate Halloween. I hate having to keep the remote control in my hand because of the constant risk the TV is going to show something too scary for my 3 year old or my 18 month old or even for me, a 33 year old. We want to watch The Voice as a family without being traumatized by the creepy doll in an Annabell commercial.
I also hate the last two weeks of October because I hate listening to the Great Pumpkin Debate every year. I hate hearing about mamas who wish they could abstain, but they don’t know how to navigate the waters of our culture. Parenting is hard. The footing never seems sure. The second guessing is the only constant. I learned a hard lesson the day Ty was born: follow your gut! If you feel a gentle or a strong tug pulling you in one direction or another, follow that tug. Listen to the Holy Spirit as you make choices for your family.
I hate the Christian shaming which seems to have taken over the Great Pumpkin Debate. I’m bracing myself for next week when my Facebook news feed fills up with blog posts trying to convince me that I am not loving my neighbor correctly by keeping my porch light turned off one night a year. I’m bracing myself for the onslaught of comments and excuses. “Just wait till your kids are old enough to know what their missing. You won’t say No then.” “Oh, we only celebrate the good parts.” “It’s really not that big of a deal.” “We are called to be a light.”
I wouldn’t mind one bit if my friends outside the Church said these things. They don’t understand that I make my choices based on what I feel the Holy Spirit is calling my family to do. But you want to know what’s crazy? I have felt more prosecuted, condemned and asked to defend what I have decided INSIDE the church than I have ever felt outside the church.
Sure, people at my secular jobs were curious about my beliefs, but that’s just it. They were curious. They respected the fact that I believed something and they never asked me to defend it. I have found the exact opposite from my Christian brothers and sisters. I believe the Holy Spirit calls every believer to participate and to abstain differently. Some Christians drink alcohol, dance, play with face cards, go to church every week, and celebrate Halloween. But some Christians don’t.
A few weeks ago I saw the first Halloween Facebook post of the year.
“Would Jesus celebrate Halloween?”
At first glance this looks like a good question. But it is not! And this line of thinking is a horrible way to make a decision. In fact it matters very, very little to me what Jesus would do if he were alive today and living in our culture. The only thing I care about is what Jesus has asked me to do.
If you have decided, with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to participate in Halloween, then I support you. I really do. I would never want you to grieve the Holy Spirit. And I’m asking you to do the same for me and the other families that make a choice that is a little bit different from the choice you have made.
I’m proposing that we all realize we are on the same side, the Holy Spirit’s side and the beauty is in the difference. I’m shining in one corner and you are shining in another corner. If I were to convince you that my corner is the only “right” corner, think of how many dark corners we would leave unlit?
Could you do the same for me? Mothering is hard and going against the flow is even harder, but could you cheer me on, too? Not shame me for protecting my kids or imply I don’t love because I don’t stand ready with a tract and lollypop one night a year?
Would Jesus celebrate Halloween? Who knows and who cares? The only thing about Jesus I know for sure is He has grace enough for all.
Grace for the sinner and the saint.
Grace for the costumes and the plain.
Grace for the dark porch lights and the lit.
And most importantly, grace for the Mamas.