Halloween is a bit of a confusing time for me. Growing up, neither my family nor Gabe’s family celebrated Halloween due to the connections with questionable religious practices. We didn’t trick-or-treat, carve jack-o-lanterns, give out candy, any of it. So when we had kids, we carried the tradition on. I would dress them up in costumes for church fall festivals and the like, but we didn’t do any of the traditional Halloween stuff.
However, I dawned on my last Halloween: if Jesus were living in an American neighborhood in 2015, would he really be hiding in the back of his house with the lights off avoiding all the children who knocked on his door? Well, that’s a no-brainer! NO, he would not. What was less obvious was what he would do? I spent some time praying and decided that I wasn’t going to hide this year. So, we participated. Not heavily, but I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus when I had children knocking on my door.
So, we had several family firsts this year when I comes to Halloween. We carved a pumpkin. We did not make a jack-o-lantern, but we carved a pumpkin. After some hunting on Pinterest, I found a pretty quality idea and ran with it. I also used the time to share the gospel of Jesus when my kids while we carved the pumpkin. You can do a google search for that and find all kinds of guides and activities, but I just winged it. We carved a cross in the front of the pumpkin, and then I carved it so that “JESUS” would reflect on the wall behind the pumpkin. I think the kids really enjoyed seeing the inside of the pumpkin and watching the carving take shape.
Here is how it looked from the front…
and here is how it looked in the dark. The J didn’t show up as well as I had hoped, and I’m not exactly sure why, but maybe I can try again next year and reverse it…put the cross on the back. We will see.
I also decided to add a Bible verse to my candy. I know that I live in the Bible Belt and most people are familiar with Scripture and Jesus, but I still felt compelled to add some of God’s Word to what I was giving out. So I created a simple Word document with a Bible verse about fear, printed it on some labels I already had at home, and stuck them to the candy. I was pretty pleased with how it came out overall. If just one of those stickers makes a child or a parent open their Bible or say a prayer, I would be thrilled!
The kids really enjoyed giving out the candy. C was THRILLED the whole night and stood by the door watching for more kids. B started out pretty scared, but eventually warmed up and really loved handing out the candy as well.
I’m glad I “participated” in Halloween this year and will be praying about how we should participate next year.