Monday, October 31, 2016
The first time I remember celebrating Halloween was in kindergarten. I dressed up as a leopard to my class's costume parade and Halloween party. My family went Trick or Treating that year also. It was a little different for me than it may have been for you. We lived out in the country. The nearest house was about a quarter of a mile away. My Mom drove us to all the neighbors' houses in a two mile radius to knock on their doors. I still remember the delight that radiated from Mrs. Paxton's face when she opened her door. She was a widow with no grandchildren living near her. She fed us homemade cupcakes.
When I was older, I heard that Halloween was the devil's holiday. If you celebrate it, you're celebrating Satan. Well, I didn't want to do that because I loved Jesus. My parents chatted with me and left the decision up to me. For the most part, I stopped celebrating Halloween. I wouldn't want to give fear a foothold in my life. I was already having enough trouble with fear in every dark night.
But as my relationship with God deepened, I learned the security that comes from being a child of the Most High King. As His servant, I live under His protection. I can't think He will shelter me from every discomfort. I do know He is good and powerful. He will be with me in everything. He will turn all my sufferings for my good and His glory. He did it for Jesus. He turned Jesus' suffering on the cross into good - salvation for me. He turned Jesus' sufferings into glory - to show His power over death when Jesus rose from the grave.
This Halloween, I'm not going to celebrate evil. But I am going to take this opportunity to reach out to others. It's not every night that people welcome strangers. I am going to encourage my children's imagination. Oh yes, I am going to eat some candy. Most of all, I'm going to celebrate that Jesus Christ has set me free from the fear of death. Not that I'm in a hurry to die. But when I do, I believe that I will live eternally with God because Jesus paid the price for my sins on the cross.
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death where is your sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:45b-55 NLT