Trick-or-Treating with Purpose
- Monday, October 20, 2008
You may think it is impossible for God to redeem Halloween in its present state, but that is all the better, for when He accomplishes it — He alone will receive the glory. We have discovered that in the case of Halloween, the truth really can set you free -- free to celebrate the power and goodness of God as you do so in the spirit of remembrance for which it was first established
One simple but meaningful way to begin redeeming the season is to embrace the fun of trick-or-treating by changing the focus. The early faith heroes died because they wanted others to have the opportunity to hear the life-giving message that Jesus is the Son of God. Begin planting seeds of eagerness to share the gospel in the hearts of your children through the fun of going door to door.
First, help them think of different kinds of people who need to hear about Jesus. Let them dress up like one of those groups of people. Children are so creative. They may dress like a sea creature as they remember how sailors need Jesus. It could be a ninja as they consider those on the Asian continent. Football players, cowboys and policemen need to hear the good news. Depending on your child's age, you can make this a more significant event.
• Talk about how people who have not accepted Jesus have been "tricked" into believing they don't need Him, but that God wants them to receive the greatest "treat," salvation through Jesus and eternal life in heaven.
• Make a list of some specific ways that your children could pray for that group of people to be prepared to hear the gospel. Include asking God to send workers into that harvest field.
• Each night for a week before or after Halloween, pray with your children for those people.
• Look together at Jesus' commission given to us in Matthew 28:18-20. Explain to your children that we should go and make disciples everywhere in the world. Take some time to talk about how each of us can obey that command right now and in the future.
• On the night of Halloween, as you prepare to send your children out to trick-or-treat, be sure to go over safety rules and accompany them from house to house.
• It is always a good idea to remind them to say thank you at each place you visit. Have a great time enjoying a fun experience with your children that will result in spiritual training as well.
• After you arrive home and admire the abundance of candy, finish the night with a Scripture verse that promises sweet rewards for those who do God's work on earth. "It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing [good things] when he returns" (Luke 12:43). And, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:15).
• Help your children see that while trick-or-treating can be a fun time one night a year, following God and sharing the good news of Jesus is an adventure that lasts a whole lifetime.
• Finish your trick-or-treat night with prayer as you tuck them into bed. Thank God that someone told you about Jesus, and ask Him to use your family to do the same for others.
God has not given us a spirit of fear. He has given us a sound mind and the gift of love. Halloween, originally a church holiday, should not have Christians running scared. Instead, we can celebrate without selling out when we "remember those who have gone before us" and follow in their footsteps.
Editor's Note: This is a two-part series on redeeming Halloween. Click here for part 1.
This article was adapted from Redeeming Halloween: Celebrating without Selling Out (Focus on the Family and Tyndale House). Copyright 2004 by Kim Wier and Pam McCune. Pick up a copy online or at your local bookstore for more in-depth information and ideas on celebrating this unique and spiritual holiday.
Kim Wier is the director of Engaging Women, a ministry of women encouraging women through speaking, writing and broadcasting. The author of four books, an award winning humor columnist and radio talk show host, Kim regularly speaks to audiences around the country with depth and humor that focuses on discovering God in the everyday experiences of life. For more visit www.engagingwomen.com.
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