I wrote this for our kids many years ago but it keeps getting reposted in our CapChurch newsletter, so there must be something of value to it. Now that I have grandchildren (Jasper, who is 3 and 7 months, is going out as a pirate, and I presume our one-year old, Lucas, will be sleeping in his bed as his cuddled up self).
My kids (Paddy) have grown up, but still I am asked what I think of Halloween (as a Christian leader and as a father). This is the whole issue of how our faith impacts our culture and neighbourhood, or how surrounding values harms our kids. If you were to ask me my opinion, here is what I would tell you –
1. Safety for your children is most important. Teach your children how to be safe in an unsafe world. Safety has to do with handling darkness, how to speak to strangers, when it is okay to take gifts. Halloween is an excellent time to teach Christian discipline and to understand righteousness.
2. Show the closeness and care of God by being with your children. This is especially important for fathers – show your “father heart” during potentially scary times for your children. Walk with your kids. Carry the candy bags. Hold the flashlights and umbrellas. Your kids will remember!
3. Help your kids “put on the armor of God” (Eph 6:13) – this does not mean dressing up as a Roman soldier! It means helping your kids dress up in righteousness, peace, truthfulness; not in darkness and evil. Stay away from images of witchcraft, death and violence. Be more creative than that.
4. Make this Halloween an opportunity to know your neighbours and enjoy them. They will appreciate your openness to them on their terms – and this might lead them to coming to CapChurch on your terms. Use Halloween as a time for the gospel living in your neighbourhood. You may decide to host a neighbourhood party (we join one in our community) where you let off firecrackers and drink hot chocolate and use the time to talk and laugh with soon-to-be friends.
5. Remember that light overcomes darkness and that the presence of Jesus is more eloquent than the clamor of fire crackers.