Friday, 15 October 2010
Turning Halloween into God’s Feast
My husband and I have changed our approach to Halloween more than once during our parenting years.
One year I made this clown wig and we took the kids trick or treating. They got lots of loot.
The next year we decided that there were too many witches about, so we took our kids to see their first movie instead. Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. Right around the time the wicked queen dressed as a hag and offered the apple to Snow White, we wondered if this was an improvement.
There were a few years when we practiced the “it was wholesome when we were kids, we can make it wholesome for our kids” approach. The kids got to dress up and cruise the neighborhood with their school friends. Then someone sent us an article on the evil origins of the holiday and we pulled back again. How could we have anything to do with something deeply rooted in paganism and spiritism? That year we hid in a dark house and ate homemade soup with some Christian friends who came and left by the back door.
So we vacillated. It’s the age old Christ and culture dilemma. How much do we engage in our culture without endorsing evil? How much do we withdraw from our culture without losing gospel opportunities?
Around this time I joined a book club. It was started by Christians, but I noticed that the books weren’t from the short list of Christian fiction. “How do you pick which books to read?” I wanted to know because it seemed like the answer could have broader implications. For Halloween, for instance.
“We actually follow an idea of Dostoevsky’s. He called it the ‘Triune Intuition,’ the view that sees man as created, fallen, and redeemable. The books we choose don’t have to be overtly Christian, but they have to reflect these three underlying truths.”
Hmmm. Created by God. Fallen from God. Redeemable by God. That opened my eyes to see the celebrations of October 31 differently. God has the both the first and the final word in this world. Redemption is his answer to evil between those two bookends. The Bible ends with a feast.
How could we participate in this grand narrative? Was it possible to turn Halloween into God’s feast?
So Many Options
That perspective opened up so many options. There wasn’t just one correct Christian solution. We could invite friends to our church’s “Trunk or Treat” night. Or we could stay home and hand out treats to our neighbors. Or we could host a harvest party. Or we could drop in on our neighbor’s Halloween party.
God is good. Good trumps evil. We who belong to Christ bring him with us into every situation.
Enjoy your celebration, whatever he leads you to do. And here’s a little something to take to the feast.
Doris Wahlstrom mentored me when I was a clueless wife and cook.
5 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup raisins or craisins
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
Toast oats in ungreased jelly roll pan at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Combine toasted oats, nuts, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and apples. Mix well and spread on ungreased jelly roll pan. Bake at 300 35-40 minutes. Stir and bake 30 minutes more until crisp and evenly browned. Cool and stir in raisins or craisins. Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator. Makes about 9 cups.