We don’t need to be afraid
It’s important for us to remember that God is the Creator and the loving ruler of the world and everything in existence. He spoke, and light penetrated the darkness and it was good.
It wasn’t long, though, before human sin and rebellion crept into the world. Our thinking became futile and our foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21). We loved darkness more than the light (John 3:19), and we chose to hide ourselves from God.
But ‘the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). God sent his son Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12), to show us his truth and to help us know him.
Jesus showed his authority over all things, including evil spirits (Mark 1:21-28), sickness (Mark 1:29-45), sin (Mark 2:1-12) and death (Mark 5:21-43).
When Jesus died, darkness covered the land (Mark 15:33). And he rose to new life again, victorious over sin, death and darkness. If we follow him, his blood cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7) and we have the light of life (John 8:12).
As those who follow Jesus, we can now look forward to a day when there will be no more night – when God himself will be our eternal light (Revelation 22:5).
Just as God brought light into a dark world, so he has brought light to our dark hearts.
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Satan, evil, darkness and death are real. But we don’t need to be afraid because Jesus has conquered them all. If we are in Christ, we are safe with him. And we can celebrate something so much better than ghosts and spirits – we can celebrate Jesus and his victory over all evil powers and authorities.
We don’t need to judge
We have freedom in Christ to make wise, godly decision about the way we live as followers of Jesus. There’s no specific command in the Bible about celebrating Halloween, and we know that Christian living is always a matter of the heart rather than external behaviours. Because of this, wise and godly believers will make different decision about how involved to be in something like Halloween, and we are not to judge anyone else for this. Rather, we are to the use our God-given conscience, and the advice of others, and decide what will be best for us, in our own current situation.
Questions to consider
We want to be ‘in the world, but not of the world’. This will involve thinking carefully about the level at which we participate, or don’t participate, in Halloween activities, and how we might make the most of the evangelistic opportunities they provide. You could consider these questions:
What are our initial reactions as we think about Halloween?
What heart attitude is underlying those reactions?
Have we prayed about our heart attitudes towards Halloween, and asked God for wisdom in making these decisions?
How should Jesus’ death and resurrection shape our understanding of Halloween?
How might we communicate that to our children?
Will our family’s involvement, or lack thereof, help or hinder our children in their Christian walk?
How and why is Halloween celebrated by our friends and neighbours?
Will our family’s involvement, or lack thereof, be causing offence or putting a stumbling block in front of anyone’s feet?
You could have a Halloween Family Bible Time like this to help you talk with your children about Halloween:
How many things can you find in your house that have something to do with light?
Read John 1:1-5
In this passage, John is talking about Jesus, but he calls him ‘the Word’, because God spoke through him.
Read the passage again, but replace ‘the Word’ with ‘Jesus’, and discover the three things John tells us about Jesus.
Look at verses 4 and 5 to find the two ‘L’ words John uses.
Jesus is light and life! How do you think Jesus might be light? How might he be life?
Jesus shows us God the Father and makes us able to come to him. Trusting in Jesus for forgiveness is the only way to have life with God forever.
Read John 8:12.
What does Jesus say about himself? What does he say about his followers?
What will it look like if we are followers of Jesus?
What could you say sorry, thank you and please to God about from this passage?
If you would like some ideas for engaging at Halloween, you could:
Play ‘light and darkness’ games
‘Spotlight’ in the garden
Scavenger hunt with torches
Blindfold games: Blind man’s bluff or Steal the Keys.
Eat supper with candles lit
Make ‘light’ crafts
Decorate candles or candle holders
Make or colour paper lanterns
Make ‘darkness and light’ pictures using chalk on black card.
Host a light party
Don’t feel like it has to be a big event! Whatever you can manage is best.
Hold it before Halloween, so it’s not in competition with Trick or Treating.
Invite both Christian and non-Christian friends and neighbours and have a few adults to chat to them.
Including a simple dinner could allow you more time to chat.
You could decorate your spaces with candles, cobwebs and pumpkins, though ghosts and witches may distract from the ‘light’ theme.
Think about inviting the children to dress up.
Start by gathering the children and asking them what’s exciting about Halloween. Talk about how we’re going to enjoy lots of those things tonight, but better than any of them, we’re going to talk about Jesus. Ghosts and witches, and spiders and pumpkins might be scary, but Jesus is more powerful than any of them!
Read John 8:12 from a Bible.
Have a bag ready for each child with a tract and church leaflet inside, and maybe something fun like a glow stick or bracelet – they could decorate these bags as an activity.
Play some games or activities on this page.
End by gathering the children together, asking what they enjoyed and reading John 8:12 again, handing out their bags and inviting their families to church on Sunday.
Make sure you pray afterwards for those who came and think about what opportunities you could take to further the relationships and conversations.
Carve a Light of the World pumpkin.
Keeping all the insides and cut out sections for putting back in later, carefully cut a lid, simple smiley face on the front and a cross on the back of the pumpkin.
Put everything back inside the pumpkin.
In what ways are we different to this pumpkin? (we’re not orange, lumpy etc.!)
In what ways are we the same? (two eyes, nose etc, – pop these out as you talk)
Say we are also like the pumpkin because of what’s on the inside.
Let the children take out and feel the insides – smell it, talk about how gross it is!
The Bible says that we are a mess on the inside, like a pumpkin. We’re a mess because of our sin – the wrong things we say, do and think, the way we don’t love God and others with our whole heart.
We might look okay on the outside, but inside, we are sinners.
Even though we can clean up our pumpkins, we can’t clean up ourselves. We can’t help ourselves with our sin.
But Jesus can! (push out cross shape)
When Jesus died on the cross, he dealt with our sin by taking the punishment we deserve.
And Jesus gave us his perfect life (put candle inside) and changes us on the inside – something we could never do ourselves!
Read John 8:12. Jesus said that he is light, and that if we are his followers, we will never walk in darkness. We can be safe from the power of sin and darkness and evil because if we follow Jesus, we have the light.
‘Dear Father, thank you that Jesus came to earth, lived the perfect life and died for our sin. Thank you that he is the light of the world.
Please help us to trust him. Help us to know that we don’t need
to be afraid because Jesus is the light of the world and has destroyed all sin and evil.’
Do some fun activities to learn John 8:12 as a memory verse.
Hand out sweets and tracts to anyone who comes to the door