As Oct. 31 approaches, perhaps you have been mulling over the age-old debate: “To Halloween or to not Halloween?”
These days, some Christians choose not to participate in Halloween, but what if we looked at the holiday with new perspective?
David Mathis, executive editor of DesiringGod.org, asks this question,
“What if we saw Oct. 31 not merely as an occasion for asking self-oriented questions about our participation (whether we should or shouldn’t dress the kids up or carve pumpkins), but for pursuing others-oriented acts of love?
“What if we capitalized on the opportunity to take a step forward in an ongoing process of witnessing to our neighbors, co-workers and extended families about who Jesus is?”
Working in campus ministry, you see many students’ schedules include multiple Bible studies, weekly Christian campus meetings, and when combined with school responsibilities, it leaves no time to cultivate relationships with people who do not yet know Jesus.
And, if I am honest, that can be true of my own life. “Opting out” of engaging with the world God placed us in can happen because of fear or busyness. A lifestyle of isolation from the world and the lost around us is not what God intended for His children.
Perhaps, this Halloween is the perfect opportunity to respond selflessly in love by caring for our neighbors, and fighting our tendency to isolate.
It is not just Halloween that can be scary, but reaching out can feel that way too.
God is calling us to reach out to people who may seem different than us, and may be using the things we have been warned against to do it. Sure, this has the potential to get messy and awkward, but engaging can lead to new relationships and change lives.
Perhaps it is my naïveté that informs my opinion on the subject of Halloween, but I know the One who began and will finish the good work He started in me is the same One who calls me to go and love others outside my comfort zone. He is more powerful than any fear or power in the world we live in.
You and I have to get up off the couch and be intentional. Gulp! We have to care about people more than rejection or the arguments surrounding Oct. 31.
So, maybe this year we turn on the porch lights and open the door to the opportunities God has given us to get to know and love our neighbors, classmates or co-workers.
Here are some practical ideas for loving your neighbors this Halloween:
If you have ideas or something you want to try, share in the comments below!
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