Halloween also known as All Hallows’ Eve is just in six days. As a lover of chocolate (especially peanut butter and dark flavors), I’m excited to take whatever candy is leftover from our church kids and adults that weren’t eaten and keep them locked up in my office desk.
The whole holiday brings up an array of emotions inside of me. As a Reformed-Baptist, I know the focal point of the holiday over the centuries has gone away from remembering the departed spirits and especially martyrs, and became a night of fun and partying for many in our nation. As someone who has as many Christian friends as non-Christians friends, I remember over the years telling my friends who went all out on Halloween to stay safe and make sure they had rides arranged in case they were either drunk or exhausted.
Loving People Dressed in Different Outfits
In the Early Church, what was incredible and still is fascinating to me is that people who were different and lived opposing lifestyles were attracted to the ways of Jesus. Even after He ascended, the disciples He had invested in were calling all kinds of people to repentance and growing from a group of several dozens to thousands.
Leave Your Door Open for More Than a Few Seconds
Some of us will still feel the need to act like we’re not home during Halloween and stay quiet with the lights off, and others will go to a hallelujah night or a harvest festival on this holiday. There’s nothing wrong with either of these things, but there’s something that we miss out on when we shy away from situations where people are coming to your door, and not the other way around. Halloween is the holiday where a whole family shows up to see their kids get blessed at your home. Halloween can become a night where Christians today can have the same witness to the gospel as the Early Church, and display the generosity that comes from knowing a generous God.
Christians should use Halloween as an opportunity to segue into getting to know the people that come to their house. Sure, not everyone is out to hear the gospel when they knock on doors, but we should all strive to be the people who are remembered the following year for being so pleasant, and maybe even having the best candy! For some of us, it’ll be the first time getting to know the names of the neighbors that come to us! Who knows, you might even find yourself apologizing for not ever having gotten to know your neighbor.
Even if we don’t dress up ourselves and listen to Monster Mash, the reason we should be inviting when people come to your door is that it can be a place to go even deeper with a family and anyone else seeking to have some fun that night. Although it was not Halloween but Thanksgiving, I remember when a single mom came to pick up their child at the home we lived in who was my friend during elementary school. What was supposed to be a quick pickup ended up being my parents inviting them in on the spot to enjoy some tasty appetizers and even try out our turkey. I don’t think my parents planned for them to come in, but I remember the moment seeing the single mom praying for the first time in many years as she was Catholic growing up, and being blessed to experience some great food with my family.
Keep Your Harvest Fest, but Also Do the Work of a Laborer
As an extrovert, I love meeting new people and getting to know their stories. As someone who called to do the work of an evangelist, it saddens me Christians are known more for keeping our doors shut in our homes than for opening up our doors and offering hospitality to those around us.
We should all as Christians be taking the step and trying to intentionally use Holidays like Halloween as opportunities for hospitality and evangelism. As you are out on Halloween, try asking people why they’re out on Halloween, and if you can pray for them for their safety. While you’re at it, please make sure you are showing and sharing the joy that we as Christians have with your neighbors on Halloween and every chance you get.
This Halloween be intentional in your approach to your neighbors. You may not get an opportunity to share the gospel but begin with conversations and contact with your neighbors. See this night as a tool to start these relationships so you can share the gospel with them in the coming days. As you do this, please make sure you aren’t cold, but warm, hospitable, and relational. See Halloween and every day as an opportunity to show your neighbors and others in your community the beauty of Christian hospitality.