I did some reading this past week about children and Halloween. Trick or Treat night will be next week, so I wanted to write something about the holiday. I found this article on a church website and thought it was a good reminder to us all for going trick or treating. (So these aren’t totally my ideas for today.) I am sure, many of you will dress up in costumes and go out collecting candy, but there are some things to think about as you go up and down the streets “begging.” First and foremost, be safe. You should only go to houses of people you know well like family and friends. Make sure you have an adult with you and take a flashlight. Watch for cars when crossing the streets. Always have an older person like your mom or dad check your candy before you eat it. Have fun but be careful and courteous.
Then here are “The Ten Commandments for Halloween” that I read. As Christian children (and adults too,) they may be good things to keep in mind as we celebrate Halloween.
1. We don’t want people to fear us. We want people to love us!
2. We don’t want to make people shudder; we want to make people smile!
3. We don’t want to wear costumes that will make people sick; Jesus came to heal the sick!
4. We don’t want to focus on graves; we want to focus on Jesus’ resurrection from the grave!
5. The only blood we should be happy about is the blood that Jesus shed for our sins!
6. The only ghost we want to believe in is the Holy Ghost!
7. The only screaming we should do is to shout the love of Jesus from the rooftops!
8. We don’t want to act like bats. We want to act like doves of peace!
9. We don’t want dress like devils. We want to be angels of love!
10. On Halloween, we don’t want to celebrate darkness; we want to be lights in the darkness. We want people to know that there is something special about us. We may be in costume, but our hearts are dressed like Jesus!
When we go out on Halloween, let’s see how many people we can make smile. Let’s see how many compliments we can give other. Let’s see how many times we can shrug, refuse to be afraid, and not dwell on those extra-scary costumes and houses. Let’s see how many times we can say “thank you,” when people give us candy. Let’s remember to share with little brothers and sisters who might not have as much candy as we have when we get home.
Let’s say our prayer together. Father, help us to be lights in the dark every day, but especially on Halloween when so many are celebrating darkness. Let us be like the jack-o-lanterns we see so many of that night and be lights shining in the darkness for all to see. Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.