My 8 year old son was with me in the car the other day and said, "Hey dad, I just figured it out. Halloween is the devil's birthday party!" I was stunned. At first I thought some rogue teacher at his Christian school was spinning Halloween as the holiday from hell or something like that. When I asked him if this was the case he said, "No dad. I came up with it all by myself. It's not hard to figure out. Kids dress up like scary things, eat candy and have a party. They must be celebrating something right daddy? It's probably the Devil's birthday."
Um, er, um.
After awkwardly stumbling through the theological reality that Satan didn't really have a birthday I decided to change tactics. I just said, "Hey Jeremy, I know that there are a lot of Christians who think Halloween is evil but I also know that there are going to be plenty of kids at our door the night of Halloween. What do you think we should try to do when they come to the door?"
"Give them lots of candy and tell as many as we can about Jesus" was his response.
"I agree son."
So whether you believe that Halloween is the devil's birthday party, a harmless Americanized funfest or somewhere in between, use it as a way to reach others with the good news of Jesus. As you do please don't be one of those houses that tapes a candycorn to a gospel of John and uses that as your "outreach" or one of those houses that darkens the lights and puts a "we don't celebrate hell-o-ween" signs on your porch. Instead use it as a way to pray for, love on and connect with your neighbors. If you are passing out some gospel tracts to the kids who come do so while being more than generous with the candy. Let them know that Jesus (unlike many Christians) is not stingy.
Here are a few ideas for helping Satan cry if he wants to at "his" party:
-Take some time to connect with the adult neighbors you know from at a distance as they come with their kids. Tell them that you'd love to invite them over sometime and get to know them better. Use Halloween as a way to build bridges with those in your neighborhood and then, in a week or two, cross those bridges with the good news of Jesus.
-Share Christ with the teeagers come to your door (usually after the initial surge of little ones.) Say something like, "Since it's Halloween I'm going to ask you a scary question, if you were to die tonight do you know for sure that you'd be in heaven?" Ask this question with a smile in your face and a twinkle in your eye so they don't run. And then share the good news or pass out a gospel tract, a gospel of John or a Venti Jesus Please book and ask them to read it. Tonight is probably not the best night for long conversations on your doorstep. But it is a good night to plant some spiritual seeds.
-Ask the older teens and adults who come to your door if there's any thing you can pray for them about. It could lead to an interesting conversation and open the door to the gospel.
Whatever you do shine the light of Jesus on this dark night and do it in a non obnoxious meets super compelling way. When it's all said and done may the devil (not our neighbors) look at us as the biggest party poopers at his "birthday" celebration!