Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Henderson's Choice: Halloween

I've seen much debate on opinions regarding Halloween. I could give you opinion after opinion after blog after blog after origin after origin after scripture after scripture to back both sides. 

The truth is, every family and every community is different. 

We all must each discern what is right for our own families.

Do we let our children dress up? Yes.
But is their identity wrapped up in that? Absolutely not.

Do we pass out candy? Yes.
But is our goal to give every kid a cavity or send them on a sugar high? No.
Do we have pumpkins and bales of hay on our front porch? You betcha.
Do we have chopped off hands and bloody bones hanging from our trees? Gross.

Hear our hearts and don't just chalk it up to flirting with the world.
You see, we live in a community that is filled with young families. FILLED.
And we've made it a point to get to know our neighbors.
So we've chosen not to close the doors, turn lights off, and pretend they aren't knocking.
Now, do we think that by giving out awesome candy we will win them all to Christ? No. But maybe it will open some doors.

Could they ask us why we don't participate in Halloween, and we could give them an entire spill on the supposed origin of Halloween? Yes. But would that bring them close to Christ? Maybe. Maybe not.

And would they know if we were in the house with all the lights off, watching TV?
Maybe. Maybe not.


But instead, we've chosen to turn on as many lights as we can.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden, y'all.
Be that city on a hill!
Halloween itself may not be a redeeming holiday, but you are redeemed!
And if you know the Redeemer himself,  open your door and smile so big and so bright that you blind every dark thing that comes your way!  

You see, we as not only Christians, but Pastors, have the opinion
that the light shines brightest, when the darkness is darkest.


Be the house that all the kids want to come to every year! 
And you know what, you may smile so brightly, that they may knock on your door next week for your kids to play. And by your kids playing with them, you may have a bold lion like my A & E who just think EVERYONE goes to church :) So they ask them where they go!!  And sometimes they do already go to church. But sometimes they don't. My kids have br
ought more kids to church through these simple front yard conversations than any other. 

To go a step further, pray a simple prayer with your kids before you ever open the door the first time: "Lord, let every person who knocks on our door tonight see just how much we love You!" 
Make lots of popcorn.
Brew some coffee. 

Have Andy Mineo or Lecrae playing when the door opens.
Light up your fire pit for a warming station.
Pass out stuff to the kids AND the adults. 
 
MAKE COMMUNITY!
Halloween is just a name folks.
And we've simply chosen to not shy away from it.
Give Halloween a chance.
Be a blessing to someone.
Love your neighbor.
Literally.
Use this to your advantage.
When is another time of the year that you will have your neighbors knocking on YOUR door! You wanna talk about door to door witnessing. They are coming to YOU! Just open your door. 


You might still be shaking your head about our decision on how to enjoy this evening. And that is perfectly okay. Our best friends don't celebrate Halloween with their kids at ALL. And we honor that. We totally do. And just as we honor them for their decision, they honor ours. You can bet that we don't go toe to toe over the dinner table regarding our stance on Halloween!


Bottom line, we use this day to our advantage. We leverage it. 
And we totally have fun along the way.
Putting green eye shadow on my Tinkerbell last night brought me back to recital days for my sweet girl who is quickly reaching the teen years! When I zip up Lightning McQueen tonight in his race car, I'm totally gonna reminisce on the times we cuddled up to watch Cars together.
We dressed up for our student party last night.
We will dress up to walk around our neighborhood tonight.
We will be dressed up to pass out candy at our house tonight.
And will will dress up tomorrow night for our church's Fall Festival.
And we will be planning out what we get to dress up as next year :)

Let us not forget, that as believers, we are ALL on the same team. 
Choose your words wisely, if you choose to speak of this at all with others. 
It is not right for those who DO participate, to call people "super spiritual" for NOT participating. 
On the other hand, it is not right for those who DON'T participate to call others uneducated or young in their faith if they DO participate.  
This is most assuredly one way to tear down the kingdom, verses being a kingdom builder.


I'm gonna love you the same tomorrow, come November 1st.
I hope you feel the same about us :)
We love you deeply. And we love the Lord passionately. We promise!

9 comments:

  1. Love it!! Thank you for letting your light shine.

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  3. Love it and I'm gonna share it. I still can't believe your all grown up and married with kids of your own as I still remember that sweet little girl that I use to pick up, swing around and act like I was gonna put in the trash can at Aunt Gladys house. Your a beautiful woman and mother and I admire you and am thankful we are from the same family and values.

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  4. This is good Cory and Joy. Very wise thoughts, thank you for sharing.

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  5. A local church my family attends does something called a "Supersized" Halloween, where families sign up to receive a pack of invite cards and buy FULL SIZED (as opposed to "fun sized") candy and candy bars with the invite cards attached. :)

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    1. Meant to finish with: the families pass these out to trick or treaters. They LOVE it!!!

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  6. moral relativism is a slippery slope

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