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There is a ghost in our house. Doors opening. Lights turning on. You may be on to where I'm going with this already. Yes, this is cheesy pastor-speak. The ghost, of course, is God's Holy Spirit. And doors are opening and lights turning on. 

I want to draw your attention to the reality that Halloween is coming up. What a great opportunity for so many of us to let the ghost open doors and turn lights on! 

One of the clearest identities for all of us who claim to follow Jesus is that of Missionary. In the Bible, Jesus sent His followers as missionaries. While some are called overseas, all are called across the street. 

Does the Bible offer any wisdom on how we as missionaries could handle Halloween? 

The apostle Peter writes his first letter to group of Christians that understand spiritual differences, cultural pressures, and persecution far better than we ever have. 

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. 

1 Peter 2.11-12

While there are so many more things we could consider from this passage, let me draw your attention to two important messages Peter gives you and me: Abstain & Engage. 

  1. Abstain. Keep the desires and motives of your heart pure. In other words, make sure your soul remains distinct from those who do not know Jesus yet. 
  2. Engage. While we abstain from sinful desires, we do not separate ourselves from our mission field. Be "among" people who do not know Jesus and lives of glowing and generous goodness. 

So, while we will not engage in the spirit of halloween as some do (revelling in evil and fear), we are called to express God's goodness. 

Halloween is the only day every year when the mission field knocks on my door. I don't even have to go to them, they come to me!

What an opportunity to build relational bridges. 

What an opportunity to express generous goodness. 

For those of you who will have trick-or-treaters knocking at your door this year, here are some practical thoughts for you: 

  • Prepare. Buy extra candy. Buy big chocolate bars. Give handfuls. You want to see the eyes of children widen with surprise and delight! 
  • Be Covid considerate.
    • Mask & gloves? (maybe you should just wear a costume too?!)
    • Have a candy launcher? Or a pipe or tube that the candy slides to the kids from? 
  • Introduce yourself to parents that are with their kids. 
  • You could set up a table and offer hot chocolate.
  • Have your propane fire ring out and a few chairs. S'mores anyone? Maybe some families will stop by for a a little chat. 
  • Your goal is not to preach at people, hand out tracts, or get on your soap box to air covid, political or whatever other hot-topic opinions might be out there. 
  • Your goal is to build connections, friendships and to be generous! HAVE FUN. 

So, turn on your porch light and when there's a knock open the door. It's what the Ghost would do. 

Pastor Mike