It’s that time of the year again when Christians declare war on cute little kids and free candy by turning off their porch light and refusing to answer the door. I covered this topic last year, but it deserves a rerun.
So here goes:
I’m a born-again Christian. I love God with all my heart, and he knows it. I follow Jesus’ example of how to live my life. To the best of my ability, I make the choices that he made.
And I give treats to children on Halloween.
(Oh, the horror!)
Some of you reading this are likely shaking your head. Don’t I know the pagan roots of Halloween? Don’t I know it’s an ancient Celtic festival based on demon-summoning and child sacrifice?
Yes, I’m aware of the roots of the festival. But I’m also aware of how it plays out in real life:
Little kids get dressed up and go door-to-door looking for free treats.
Now imagine Jesus turning off his porch light at his house in Capernaum. When I was a kid going trick-or-treating, a turned-off porch light meant that that house wasn’t “shelling out”, so we didn’t waste our time going there. We also noted which houses did and didn’t shell out, and how generous they were or weren’t.
So did our parents.
Jesus wouldn’t have turned off his porch light. He would have thrown open his door wide to each and every child who came begging, and he would have had a special and kind word for each.
Because these are children we’re talking about.
Remember how the disciples asked Jesus to tell the kids to scram when he was preaching, and Jesus instead told the disciples where they could get off?
Jesus loved having kids around. If they wanted to be there, they were welcome.
Children love treats. They also love dressing up in costumes and being allowed to run around the streets after dark. When you combine free treats with dressing up and going outdoors after bedtime – well, you get one honkin’ big happy occasion in the mind of a child, almost as good as Christmas and birthdays.
There’s a time and a place for preaching God’s word, but doing it on Halloween through a turned-out porch light is the wrong time and the wrong place.
The kids want a treat. Give them a treat. Give them lots, give them freely, and give them with a big warm smile.
God gives us treats, even when he knows it’s not the best thing for us.
He gives them to us for no other reason than that we want them and he loves indulging us.
Born-again or not born-again, atheist, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, whatever – Halloween is not the time to preach.
It’s the time to give kids treats, so give ’em treats.