Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone
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All Hallow's Eve


In 2005, Megachurches all over this country canceled church on Sunday morning. Why? Because it was Christmas.

On October 31st, my church is going to cancel our Wednesday night program (which includes a small worship service). Why? Because it is Halloween.

Why? Because this is the one night of the year that neighbors feel comfortable about knocking on each other's door. This is the one night you have an excuse to get to know people who never speak to you, ask people their names (be sure to make a note of it!) and shatter some of our American Isolationism. In other words, this is the night when we can actually begin to love our neighbors at all, let alone as we love ourselves.

I find it depressing that Christians choose to spend this night in their churches, hiding from the evil world. Going to their "Harvest Parties," Christians choose to follow Jesus by clustering with one another rather than making themselves available to their neighbors. We thereby create for ourselves a holiday-time ghetto.

Oh, I know. You might tell me that these Harvest Parties are places where you can bring your unchurched friends. Fair enough. I'm sure there are people who started going to church because their friends invited them to a Harvest Party. But, as an evangelism practice, I honestly believe getting to know your neighbors is more important than getting someone into a church building through the lure of games and candy.

Some people might also say "but Halloween comes from pagan sources." That is true. But Christmas trees, Easter egg hunts, and birthday parties also come from pagan sources, and I don't see us avoiding them. Unless you are a Jehovah's Witness, anyway.

So, this Halloween, join us in a profoundly Christian tradition. Get to know your neighbors. Spend time with your kids or grandkids. Give away candy as an act of love to children who can not repay you, and in this way be like Jesus.

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