Trick or treat?

What is a missional response to Halloween?

In the spirit of transparency I must first make a confession. My response to Halloween, as a young Christian leader was, shall we say, nothing less than confrontational. Researching the history of Halloween gave me a cause. I spent several Halloween nights walking the graveyards of my city, eagerly searching for a witch coven, which I believed would gather to sacrifice animals. I was not all that successful in tracking any down (just high school students partying) but I was certainly zealous and convinced of my pursuit.

When our oldest children were younger and interested in Halloween, well costumes and candy anyway, we found the party that Trinity Western students hosted to be our answer. Unfortunately in our first years in the city we now live, we did the disappearing act on Halloween.

We tried to ignore it.

Last year for the first time I took our 6-year-old into our neighbourhood for Halloween. I ventured out to discover that our neighbourhood had turned over since we moved in years earlier. It was now filled with a crop of young families and I missed that transition as I was hiding on the one time a year that my neighborhood community all meets.

I was sad. Sad I missed the heart of God.

This year we decided we were jumping in with both feet… We were not only participating but setting up shop. As we went house to house throughout our neighbourhood I took note of the people I met with a new-found curiosity to know and be known.

With a little magic we transformed our driveway into pumpkin alley. Our driveway garnished with craved pumpkins, lights and baskets of treats we served hot chocolate, to create pause, to whomever would take the moment. With our baskets of treats empty and sixty cups of hot chocolate gone we found ourselves at the beginning of feeling reconnected to the larger neighbourhood thanks to Halloween.

God seems to see the world as his parish.

He moved into our neighbourhood and through proximity met us. Many of us do not emotionally live in our neighbourhoods. We live everywhere but where we call home. What could an incarnational engagement with where we live look like?

Weaving through the costumed witches, ghosts and spider webs on a Halloween night gave me pause as I am reminded. Wherever Jesus went real ghosts and real evil shook itself loose and made an appearance. You could say most days, documented in the New Testament, were real Halloween for him. All the dark out in the open as he wandered the corridors of his neighbourhood and region.

Maybe Halloween night is just a reminder of the reality of the world in which we live and a reminder to live where we call home…. and a time to dress up and collect candy and have a little fun.

Todd Rutkowski

~ by blueporch on November 1, 2010.

One Response to “Trick or treat?”

  1. Beautiful!

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