Oct 31 2018

I Love Halloween!

Pastor Dave Koppel

I love Halloween! I really enjoy it. I do. I confess.  
 
First, for those of you who think that this is a terrible thing for a preacher to like, let me tell you that I believe that particular days have the meaning that we choose to assign them. If you believe that this is a harmless fun day for kids to get dressed up and get candy, that’s fine, let’s celebrate. But if you believe it is a day to worship the devil or to cause mischief—then don’t do it. I certainly don’t want to celebrate that.
 
As for me, I see it as a fun day for dressing up and giving candy to kids. And, that being the case, I will participate in it, give candy to the kids, and enjoy their costumes.
 
The truth is that Halloween came from the Druid New Year’s Eve when they believed that the spirits of the dead would come back to earth. They would carve turnips (really, turnips…) and put them by their doorways to keep the spirits of the dead from coming into their homes.
 
Since people were observing this day anyway, the church took it over and “Christianized” it, and made November 1st All Saint’s Day, a day when we remember those who have gone before us, and passed the faith on to us.
 
The evening before became All Hallows Eve or Halloween. I celebrate All Saints’ Day, and I celebrate All Hallows Eve.
 
At any rate, here in America, we have people dressing up in costumes, having fun and being silly on Halloween.
 
As long as we take it to be simply a fun day, not a satanic holiday, we can enjoy Halloween. I like it because I think that people let their personality out when they choose their costume. Not only do I get to see another side of them, I also get a chance to admire their creativity.
 
Once I saw four people dressed as the Titanic. Each one of them fit into a smokestack. It was a great costume until they wanted to go their separate ways. Then it looked more like the Titanic after the iceberg.
 
One of my pastor friends wore clothes with holes cut in them. He was a “Holy (Holey) Man” (I can almost hear you groaning at that one...I did too.)
 
It is fun to see what people come up with. I went to a “Wizard of Oz” theme party and one friend came as the field of poppies, and another person dressed as a tornado. I never would have thought of that in a million years.
 
God invented creativity—look what He did with creation, and with the sunset, and the sheer number and incredible beauty of flowers.
 
What a great time this is to work on a costume with your kids, to do a project together, and maybe, just maybe, teach them about the communion of saints, and while you are at it, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting… It’s a day when we might talk about remembering grandparents and others who aren’t with us anymore…but also the fact that we will be with them again. It’s an opportunity to spend time together, to get creative, to talk with your kids and to explore ideas of what they might like to do and be as they grow up.
 
Who knows, you might just have one of the best conversations ever.  
 
Halloween has the meaning that you chose to give to it. Let’s choose to connect with our kids, to meet our neighbors, to make friends and to have meaningful conversations.
 
In His grip,

Pastor