A Halloween Regifting...

[This is post, slightly revised, from a couple of years ago...think of it as a re-gifting of sorts]

A very liberal columnist for the Denver Post wrote an article not long ago about Halloween. He mentioned the two words that should not be named, words which strike fear in the hearts of children everywhere in the month of October - fall festival, or some variation on that theme. I had to laugh, remembering all the semantic gyrations our churches used to pretzel in so as to offer something on that night, but not cater to the whims of the fallen world. 

Overall, the article was not a keeper, but there was one point that I found very intriguing. He said that we, as Americans, need Halloween as a holiday. Let me type that once more - we, as Americans, need Halloween as a holiday. Why, you ask? Well, this gentleman believes Halloween to be the one remaining holiday built around opening our doors to the stranger. And if there's any time in the history of our grand land that we need a discipline to help us be more open to those we don't know, those who don't look like the rank and file, those of lower economic status, those with darker or lighter skin, those who love not as we love, those with the courage or the gall to ring our doorbells and open their sacks, hoping for something - well, it's now. I agree with him.

Is it possible that we might look deeper, further beyond the ghouls and goblins and see that our children are being taught something beneficial, even if it comes via something not so perky and nice? And that if we don't go out and trick or treat ourselves, then at least we might keep our porch lights on, answer the door and then open it in order to give something away. And not just anything, but the good stuff, like M&Ms or Hershey bars, something of worth. 

I'm familiar with the darker elements of the night, I am...but I felt the columnist raised one of those consider this points. Jesus used that phrase you know - consider the lilies, and so on. So I'll ask you to consider this, just consider it. If the day and its festivities are too much, then fine. But if you're willing to crack the front door, then that might, just maybe, result in a crack in your heart, an opening when so very much these days is closed...and as you give, you might receive, for you can extend a gift, something sweet, alongside a whispered blessing: I don't know you, but welcome. It's dark out, so step up into the light, if only for just a moment. Mercy covers the borders of this house. May mercy cover you as you go. Amen.


  1. yes, i would rather extend then condemn.

  2. Interesting! people have this loving and welcoming features in their blood, but some people are scared of everything ..

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  3. Potent reminder to open myself not only to those dearest and easiest to love, but to strangers as well. The quest for privacy and my own space runs deep. Lord please let me always remember to have an open palm not a clinched fist.

  4. Wanted to thank you for the beautifully written blog about Halloween. Margaret Terry (amazing woman!) included a link to it on her facebook status.
    I sent your entry on to our small group, which had chosen, at the last minute, not to meet that Sunday - Halloween night - because some wanted to be in their own homes to greet whoever came to the door. I was definitley having some guilty feelings about not being with our small group (I mean, it was Sunday for crying out loud!), but the article put into words my very feelings, and helped me tremendously! It was a joy to be home to greet about thirty young and not so young people. So, thank you very much, John.

  5. MiJon2,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment...yes, open arms and hands and heads and hearts...

  6. thyrkas,
    It is a grace when the words match the feelings and touch not only ourselves but others...thanks for your words...stop by again sometime...and yes, I like Margaret too.

  7. What a wonderful perspective.