What Would Jesus Be For Halloween?

This Friday our streets will be peppered with little kids (and a few older “kids”…you know who you are) dressed up on mission to GET CANDY! When I was a kid, I dressed up as anything from E.T. to a baseball player for this Halloween candy mission. One year I even had an extra mask in my pocket so if the house gave out something good, like those 100 Grand candy bars, I would go around the corner, switch masks and come back for more!

As an adult now, my mission is no longer about candy, but is about following Jesus. In everything I do (marriage, family, work, relationships, money, holidays, etc.) I seek to ask, “how do I do this as a follower of Jesus?” Asking that question this week leads me to ask, what would Jesus be for Halloween? To some that may sound blasphemous. “Jesus wouldn’t have anything to do with Halloween!” I realize Halloween has a strange history, and there are varying ways it is celebrated to this day. For more on all that, read this article by Justin Holcomb.

If as a follower of Jesus you choose not to participate in this day, that’s your free choice. However, as I follow Jesus, as I study how He lived His life on earth and how I should live mine in light of Him, I ask, “what would Jesus be for Halloween?” Not meaning what would He dress up as, but what would He be? How would He handle this day if He were in my house? If His neighbors, the ones He says to love, if they were not just pulling in their driveway and closing the door behind them but actually coming outside and up to His door, what would Jesus be?

1. Jesus would be Present

Jesus went where people gathered. He attended weddings, feasts, celebrations, cultural holidays. He was present with people of all kinds, even people that didn’t see the world the way He did, or believe in Him. Jesus came on a mission to be with people who were not like Him, so they could know God. In order to do that, He wasn’t avoiding them (though He did at times pull away for prayer & solitude), He was present with them. If He lived in your house, and at 6pm the street started filling up with people, Jesus, for the good of his neighbors would not hide out, but would be present, building relationships with the people in His life.

2. Jesus would be Free

Jesus knew God the Father loved Him and was pleased with Him (Mark 1:11), thus He was free from letting other people’s judgment define Him. People called Him a drunkard and a glutton (Luke 7:34) because they saw Him eating and drinking with people who ate and drank way too much. But Jesus knew that He was free to be with all kinds of people and not partake in or be guilty of their sin. Why? Because sin is something that comes from the inside, in the heart (Mark 7:21-23), not from standing outside and talking with someone wearing a zombie mask.
Yeah, but some ask, “isn’t Halloween all about evil?” Again, Halloween has a past, but if you ask anyone in your neighborhood if they are celebrating evil and demons this night, you most likely will be looked at like you’re the zombie! Halloween has become a secular cultural day about fun and candy. A fourth of all candy sold in the US every year is for Halloween! Kids want candy, and we are free to participate in the collecting of it. Now if someone offers your little Olaf a Snickers bar and says “I give you this delicious treat in the name of Satan and all his demons,” then by all means, refuse! 1 Corinthians 10:23-28 tells us we are free to enjoy what’s given to us, but if it’s offered in the name of demons, well, then we should pass.

3. Jesus would be Generous

Why? Because He’s always generous. He gave his life for us and He is the giver of life to all mankind. He is even generous to make the sun shine on those who hate Him! He’s always generous. And He loves kids and having kids near Him (Mark 10:13-16). Halloween would be a great time for Him to display His generosity and love for kids. He wouldn’t be the house that just gives one penny-sized tootsie roll and tells the kids to get off the lawn. He’d grab a handful and be generous, maybe pull out the grill, cook some food to share with parents and neighbors. Rather than rushing off to his own agenda, He would generously give of His time and His attention.

4. Jesus would be Light

We live in a dark world, and sometimes Halloween even highlights that. But Jesus came as light into a dark world (John 1:9) so the world could see God and be changed. He would be a light in his neighborhood. The light would be seen in His loving eyes as He engaged all people. The way that He would stoop down and speak with a child on their level would be light. The way that He would sincerely talk with people and learn their names and their families would be light. The way He would care about people’s lives when others may just move on would be light. The way He would invite people into His life would be light. The way he would joyfully give thanks to God for the beautiful evening with people made in God’s image would be light. Everything about Jesus would be light in a dark world.

If you follow Jesus, here’s what you are to be this Halloween: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)