Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
“For once you were in darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light - for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” -Ephesians 5:8-9
The sun is supposed to set at 6:18 this evening. Trick or treating begins at 6:00 in our neighborhood. That means that for the preponderance of the time, it will be “dark,” as children of all ages amble through the neighborhood accumulating heaping mounds of goodies.
Things are busy enough in our neighborhood that we just remain ready at the door. There’s a steady stream of candy connoisseurs who peer into our home and wonder if it was worth the trip.
The assessment is fair, because while they’re checking us out, we’re checking them out. There are a sizable number of friendly costumes. A few Disney princesses, several superheroes, a handful of Harry Potters, and the occasional fireman. So cute!
And then of course, there are some “darker” characters too; the mummies, zombies, white-sheeted bogles, and a couple of plastic-toothed vampires for good measure. These children want to be scary. So, some of them approach the door in silence, and menacingly stick out their sack. My advice, don’t let them get away with it.
Encourage the kids who are trying to be scary to say the words, “Trick or Treat!” Not only is it the polite thing to do, most of the time it totally blows their cover. From somewhere beneath the frightening face paint and pointy hats comes a syrupy sweet voice that reveals the true identity. There’s just no sense in a child of God trying to be something that they are not.
And here’s the other thing these tough customers don’t realize. In our neighborhood at least, there’s a universal sign that indicates you are willing to welcome Snickers seekers, you turn on your porch light, lamp post, or both. Now, this is just beautiful! Because the whole time these little rascals are attempting to be sinister, they are being saintly… yes indeed, all the children who are out seeking are both guided by and drawn into the light all night long.
Maybe Halloween isn’t such a bad way to prepare for All Saints Day after all!
Question for reflection: Are you looking forward to any “treat” in particular this Halloween?
Yours in Christ,
Gracious Lord, we pray that all those who head out this evening to enjoy this festive time would be kept safe and know your joy.And we also pray, that all those who will be inside, answering doors, and doling out treats would do so with full and generous hearts.We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.