Here in Britain, where it all started, the day hangs heavy with the presence of evil. I know a lot of people who aren’t Christians who dislike this day.
Sadly police statistics show that children and young women disappear on this day each year. Black cats are also known to vanish.
Celebrating death and evil is not something I want to be a part of.
So, what can we do instead?
Celebrate the Light who has conquered darkness, the Good who has triumphed over evil, and the Life who has won victory over death and the grave.
How can we do that?
Dawn’s GOOD Halloween Guide is a great one to follow.
I also really like Ava’s Pumpkin Prayer.
Here in Britain churches are using this day to focus on the Light. (Also, providing activities for children to be involved in keeps them in a safe place rather than on the streets knocking on stranger’s doors.)
At my nephews’ church they have a pumpkin party. Instead of making scary faces though, they make happy faces and the candle inside reminds them of Jesus, the Light of the world who has come to save us from evil, and lives in our hearts. The happy face reflects how happy Jesus in our hearts makes us.
Crystal Bowman’s Happy Pumpkin book sounds like it would be great to read as it focuses on cleaning out the mess within and throwing it away and linking it with how God washes our hearts clean of sin when we come to Him for forgiveness, and finishing with the candle showing how we let our lives shine for Jesus. I like there is no mention of Halloween, and also that this promotes a positive association in children’s minds for pumpkins.
With my nursery children, each year we have a pumpkin they can scoop out. You can either cut of the top, or cut a hole in the side and let them have fun scooping out the middle and discovering the seeds. Then the shell of the pumpkin is used in role play ~ it can become a dinosaur cave, an animal’s den or a teddy bears house complete with tea party…the ideas are endless. I’m sure your child will come up with something creative to turn it into. (Keeping the top or side you cut to place over the gap when they have finished playing. It tends to help keep the pumpkin fresher for longer.) I love this idea on pinterest of Little House in the Pumpkin – perfect for this time of year, enjoying God’s creation.
Other churches just have a party where party games are played and party food is served, but children are asked to come in bright clothes ~ again to celebrate the light. There will then be a time at the end for singing praise songs and a little message focusing on Jesus as the Light who came to conquer the darkness in our world, and to fill our lives with forgiveness and light when we believe in Him as our Saviour.
I pray we all have a safe day on 31st October.
Here’s to celebrating the Light!
~ Wendy Sparkes ~