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.