I was driving the other day and looking at all the Halloween decorations that are up all over the place. Before you start jumping to conclusions, this is not an anti-Halloween post. I love Halloween. I also love people who go all out to decorate the outside of their houses for any holiday. It is such a gift when people do that for others. After all it is other people who enjoy it the most. I’m not saying that homeowners aren’t doing it for their own enjoyment, but honestly how often do you stand outside your house just looking at the front of it. How many more people pass by your house and get to enjoy what you labored over. So, thank you holiday decorators I enjoy the smile I have when I pass your homes and businesses.
This is probably when I should start explaining my love for Halloween for all the haters out there. Although it would be ironic and funny to have people chasing after me with torches and pitchforks, I don’t think there will be any need for all that. I love Halloween for the simple, unmitigated joy of it. This is the one holiday that is truly about and for kids. I know you’re thinking what about Christmas, I thought about that too. But with Christmas comes responsibilities. You must greet and be pleasant to the whole family usually. You must behave with some decorum and remember to thank every person who gave you a gift. But Halloween isn’t like that at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. Halloween is for kids and about kids. You get to walk (or run just ahead of your parents) to your neighbor’s homes, ask them for candy, and they give it to you. No questions asked, no thank you required. You get to do this again and again until the time ends. For a kid, this is glorious. At least that’s how I remember it.
What I was thinking about were the costumes. Seeing kids in costumes is probably my favorite thing about Halloween. In wearing these costumes, we are unabashedly seeing the hopes and dreams of our kids. They are dressed as professions they admire, superheroes, princesses, animals, etc. Even the kids who dress up as monsters or witches are showing us that they like something about that. Perhaps they wish they could use magic to clean their room, or they revel in the thrill of being scared. I think the reason so many adults want to dress up and go to costume parties is that they are looking for that thing they wish. They want to be seen as cool, fun, funny, or frightening. It’s fun to elicit the reactions you were hoping for. What I was really thinking about was how great it would be if we could dress up in a costume that expresses how God sees us. I don’t mean how we think he sees us or how the devil is trying to tell us He sees us. What if we were able to dress in a costume that shows people what gifts he has bestowed upon us. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to share our gifts with others just by sight? Wouldn’t you like to know if the person sitting in the pew with you is gifted with teaching, tongues, hospitality, discernment, organization, etc? Then we would all know who to go to for the things for which we need help.
I know that those thoughts are pretty self-serving, but I would love to see an awakening within God’s people. I would love to see them believe they are gifted by the Holy Spirit and embrace those gifts fully and openly. I would love to see us warmly accept these gifts and encourage each other’s gifts. If we had no shame or embarrassment over what others would think if they heard we had the gift of healing or prophecy, I must believe that we would be such a force over evil. When we look at the speed Christianity took hold despite happening underground despite Rome’s efforts, I have to believe that this was due in part to the full acceptance and belief in the gifts we all have. I wonder what we can do for the Kingdom when we fully believe in and act with our gifts. Especially if we are working in concert with those who are also using their gifts. I am sorry I was light on Scripture this time, but I’m feeling pretty convicted about living to my potential in God.