Yay for Fall and the holiday season! It’s finally here! For me, as a mom, it has become a fun and exciting time to look forward to. We get to gather together and celebrate with family and friends. Fun traditions were almost non-existent for me growing up. I was born into a first generation Christian family and in an effort to distinguish between the lines of “Christianity” and “worldliness” my parents chose to forego many cultural traditions. God has brought me full circle and taught me that my Christian values can coexist with cultural celebrations and what’s more: I can redeem these occasions for the glory of God.
A fun American tradition I grew up not celebrating is Halloween. When my parents arrived to the U.S., Halloween seemed like a weird celebration of all that is evil. Witch craft, blood,
gore etc. The deeper they dug into the history and significance of Halloween the more they were convicted to reject the holiday. My parents felt so strongly about the Halloween that they kept my brother and I home from our school’s annual Halloween “Spirit Day” in which the teachers and student body wore their costumes, played coordinated games together and shared their candy. Trick or treating was most definitely out of the question as was giving out candy to trick or treaters.
I had never been trick or treating so missing out was just the norm. And I was pretty much OK with the proposition of staying home a day from school. My family would spend the day together. Then my parents would buy us candy to take to school the next day for trading with friends. And just like that…my parents had made a new tradition!
Now as a mom of 3 boys I’ve questioned how God wants me to approach Halloween and other holidays. I believe that Gods calling is to love him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Luke 10:27 ESV) I don’t honestly believe that anyone is going to lose their salvation by celebrating Halloween the traditional way most Americans celebrate it. But I believe that God has set us apart to do his good work. Believe it or not, even during a holiday that many use to do what is opposed to God’s will we can hone it in for Him.
Every year I gather with family and friends and share the gospel through none other than good old fashion pumpkin carving. Here’s how:
- When we first cut the pumpkin we are reminded of opening our hearts for Jesus to come in and dwell in us.
- When we scoop the sticky, slimy seeds out we remember Jesus is cleaning our hearts from sin.
- When we place a light inside the pumpkin we remember that we carry God’s light inside us.
This has been a wonderful way to worship God together as believers as well as a valuable tool to share the gospel and love of God with those who don’t know and trust him yet. As believers in Christ we don’t have to fear cultural traditions. We can lead the way by reflecting Christ in all that we do.
How will you celebrate Halloween this year? How can you own it for Christ?