Being a former children’s pastor and currently actively involved in children’s ministry, there are a few holidays that I do not look forward to because of the controversies that surround them. They are Easter, Christmas, and Halloween. People take extreme positions and hold them as litmus tests as to whether another is a true follower of Jesus. With Christmas just a few days away, my thoughts this year turned to the similarities between Christmas and Halloween. A few of you just fell back in disbelief and have already put up your “shields” ready to refute my thoughts and may have already begun forming yours without reading any further. I ask that you give me a few minutes and then respond.
Halloween is the darkest night of the year, spiritually. Christmas was positioned during the darkest part of the year and sadly, for many, that is where the similarities end.
Halloween was a “Christian” holiday (All Saint’s Day) which became pagan. Christmas was a pagan holiday which became “Christian”.
During the Christmas season, there is a hope that is present, the hope of a newborn King. The hope of the Light that will enter this “dark” world. People shine their lights for all to see. It is easy to shine your light when the rest of the world shines a light.
During the Halloween season, it seems that all hope is gone. The world is turned over to the dark. People turn their lights off to keep people from seeing the hope that is within. When the world is spiritually dark, there may be consequences to shining your light and it can be easier to hide your light under a bushel to avoid persecution and conflict.
For many people, neither Halloween nor Christmas bear any spiritual significance. They are “fun” days for children to exercise their imagination.
As a follower of Jesus, especially one who works with children, we need to let our lights shine, in good times and spiritually dark times teaching them the things of God. I pray that as you teach the children in your sphere of influence, that you don’t get caught up in the trappings of your surroundings, but that you continually shine God’s light within you for others to see, and setting an example for the children, and others, who are watching you.