Answering Children's Questions at Halloween
- Alison Mitchell Author
- 2017 11 Oct
It was a dark and stormy night…
That’s how many classic ghost stories begin. But what if your child is scared of the dark, and worried about what a stormy Halloween night may bring? Here are some thoughts on how we can use their questions to point them to the wonderful truth about Christ.
“Freddie told me he saw a ghost last night. Is that true, Dad? Are ghosts real?”
Someone who has died cannot come back to haunt this world as a ghost. There are a few stories in the Bible about people being brought back to life, but it is always through God’s amazing power since he is the source of all life. So in Luke 8, we read about a 12-year-old girl who was very ill. While her father, Jairus, was begging Jesus to come and heal her, the girl died. But she didn’t stay dead! Jesus brought her back to life a few hours later. He was able to do that as easily as waking her up, because he is the Son of God. In every example in the Bible of someone dying and then coming back to life, it is God’s power that restores them and it is God who is given the glory. That’s very different from the stories people like to tell about ghosts. Those made-up stories are designed to make us scared. But the true stories about Jesus will make us happy instead. And if we have Jesus as our friend, we have no need to be scared.
“Amy said that witches fly in your windows on Halloween night. I’m scared!”
It’s true that there are people today who choose to live as witches and worship dark forces. They have turned away from God. But they can’t fly on broomsticks or zoom in through bedroom windows! And we don’t need to be scared of them. God understands when we find things frightening. In fact, the Bible tells us 366 times not to be afraid. That’s one for every day of the year, plus one extra for a particularly scary day! So any time we feel frightened, we can talk to God about it. We can thank him that he is far more powerful than anything that scares us. And we can ask him to help us trust him if we’re afraid.
“Pete told me that the devil comes out on halloween and that he hides in the dark waiting to catch people.”
Our world is full of things we can touch and see, taste and hear. So we know those things are real. But the Bible tells us that the spiritual world is real too, even though we can’t see it. So the devil is real, and so are evil spirits. But when we read about evil spirits in the Gospels, one thing is always true. They have no power over Jesus. Instead, they have to do what he says, and go where he tells them, even into a herd of pigs! (Mark 5 v 1-15)
Many people are afraid of the dark. It’s because we can’t see what may be there. But the Bible describes Jesus as “light”! (John 8 v 12) And when you switch on a light, even the darkest room stops being dark. The darkness is wiped out by the light. If your child is scared on halloween night, putting a light on in their room may help. Not only will it help them see there’s nothing there to be scared of, but it will also remind them that Jesus is “the light of the world”. He is much stronger than the devil. He is far more powerful than any evil spirit. We can trust him when we’re feeling scared.
“Jenny believes in witches and zombies. So why doesn’t she believe in God?”
Halloween can be a wonderful opportunity to talk about what we believe and why. It is a time of year when many people, adults as well as children, will say they believe in things they can’t see, such as zombies or ghosts. Jesus once told his friends that, if they wanted to know what God the Father is like, they just have to look at Jesus. (John 14 v 9) So one way to help our friends believe in God is to show them Jesus.
And at Halloween, one way to do that would be to read them a “real ghost story” from the Gospels. For example, the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14 v 22-33, or when he appeared to his friends after he had died, and ate some food to prove to them that he wasn’t a ghost (Luke 24 v 36-43). In both of these stories, Jesus' friends first thought he was a ghost because he was doing things they knew no one could do - he walked on water, he appeared in a room even though the door was locked. Jesus could do many other things that no one else could do - he could heal people who were ill just by touching them; he could stop storms just by speaking to them; he could even bring people back to life. And the only reason he could do all these is that Jesus himself is God.
And that’s something wonderful to celebrate this Halloween!
This article originally appeared on TheGoodBook.com. Used with permission.
Alison Mitchell is a Senior Editor at The Good Book Company, where she has written a range of Bible-reading notes for children and families, and is editor for the Christianity Explored range of resources. Alison is also involved with youth training events around the UK, including the Growing Young Disciples training days and Bible-Centered Youthwork Conference.
Photo Courtesy: ©Unsplash