You know, it's funny. Five days till Halloween, a holiday commonly dedicated to things spooky and taboo, and we're gathering at church to celebrate. It's 4:30pm and I look out over the parking lot where people are setting up their decorations and double checking their candy reserves for the night.
We're not the only ones of course; though churches get the most representation, many organizations have adopted "Trunk-or-Treat," leading to the snuffing out of the more traditional door-to-door neighborhood walk of the past. In record time, people dedicated to furthering God's kingdom have solidly taken the reigns of this purely pagan holiday . . . or so you might think. Do a little research and you'll find that Halloween, or All Hallows Eve as it's known traditionally, was actually the start of a three day long Christian holiday called Allhallowtide, honoring those who've died in Christ. I guess it's more accurate to say that churches are, in some ways, taking back the holiday.
As my mother puts the finishing touches on her Charlie Brown themed decorations, I catch the smell of propane on the wind, reminding me how hungry I am. Following my nose, I find some of our youth members cooking hotdogs for tonight's guests. Inside the fellowship hall the tables have been set, buns lay ready for filling, cookers full of chili and beans bubble away and sweet treats decorate a table against the wall.
After a quick bite, I head back outside and take a seat next to Lucy and Charlie Brown to start handing out some candy. This is what it's all about. I make myself comfortable and watch the eager kids come and go, placing a few morsels of candy and a gospel tract into their waiting buckets and bags. As the activity picks up, my own family members begin to make appearances. My little cousin and her parents drop in followed by my Grandmother who gives me a homemade popcorn ball, a little Halloween tradition of her own. I devour the gift on the spot while they move inside for some dinner, my little cousin electing to stay with me. At one point she asked me if she could hand out the candy so I passed the bowl over and took the chance to grab another hotdog. When I return, she says to me: "This is more fun than video games." I couldn't help but laugh. The irony is, this is coming from a kid dressed as a character from Fortnite, a popular video game at the time. I spent the rest of the night enjoying the atmosphere and watching her get creative with her giving. It's just that simple, right?
A big "thank you" goes out to everyone who participated this year, as well as to the parents for bringing their kids out. If you'd like to see more pictures from the event then checkout the church Facebook page. And remember, when Halloween rolls around, take an opportunity to honor those Christian faithful that have gone on before. The remarkable people like Paul and Luther that impacted the church on a global scale, and the people who helped your Christian walk personally.