Halloween – called initially Samhain (pronounced “sow” “en”), was a Celtic harvest festival full of images of the dead and dying celebrated before the approach of winter. It was an occult festival that featured charms of protection and a fearful expectation of the return of the deceased.
In the 800s, Pope Gregory IV attempted to counter the pagan darkness by transferring All Saints Day from May to November 1. All Hallows Eve was established as a night dedicated to covering prayer. Christians were encouraged to be, a light to dispel the surrounding darkness.
Unfortunately, the modern world has forgotten the Saints in favor of the dead. All Hallows Eve - a night of protective prayer - has decayed into masks, scary stories, and hurtful pranks.
Ironically, popular culture mocks the belief in God and Christ as a myth while at the same time celebrating zombies and demons and decorating with skulls and blood.
Sadly, horror and terror are not mere bedtime tales. There is an Enemy who wanders the earth promoting evil - a devil who feeds on terror and fear. We need not look far to witness evidence of this horrible work.
This is spiritual warfare and we should not surrender the fight.
“Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, CEB).
If the children of light think there is no battle to fight, it is because they believe the Enemy’s propaganda. We should not hide from the darkness that surrounds us or let it swallow us. We should not respond to Halloween like unbelievers - dealing in fear, horror, and laughing at the screams of small children. We should keep alert and protect our loved ones from what would erode their faith and steal their joy.
“Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:9, CEB).
Do not forget, Jesus already won. Jesus took back the keys to creation from the enemy in Calgary. He showed us the Way to God and reminded us the struggle is real.
Let’s respond with wisdom and caution.
- - Keep our youth from activities that threaten their lives like drinking and driving.
- - Keep them from getting involved in malicious pranks and vandalism that lead to jail time.
- - Encourage them to skip the gore in favor of fun and life.
Let’s retake the night and turn it into the day. We have the assurance that a godly life will be rewarded in eternity. The very promises of God will release pain and fear, sorrow and loss. Let us display our love and our hope in a broken world.
Try these simple tasks to combat darkness this Halloween:
- Put away the scary – be light-hearted, not horrifying.
- Make your home a point of light – turn every light on and shine in the darkness.
- Be gracious and loving, welcoming and inviting.
- Be generous. Give freely and willingly.
- Above all, give the world the gospel of compassion.
Take the time to share your faith. Bless the children and adults as you offer them treats. Let them know that you believe in a redeeming God who saves.
Let them know there is hope.