"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you."
-Philippians 4:9

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fear. Evil. Death.

It is approaching the end of October and once again, the old battle rages among those who call themselves Christian. To celebrate Halloween or to create an alternative; to speak out against any and all forms of celebration or to quietly close your doors and hide in the shadows until the evil day passes and you can once again carry on your daily life in the light.

Over the past several days, the topic has been running around in the back of my mind. Partly because a coworker's son is distressed at finding out that his family is Christian because that means, "I can't wear my Batman costume and get candy this year!" Partly because my own kids have been noticing and commenting on many of the decorations that are currently displayed, deeming some "nasty," others "stupid," and yet others "funny." The comments have afforded opportunities to talk about the difference between appropriate dress-up and glorifying evil; between demands/threats and accepting gifts; between the "whatsoever things" and those things that should not occupy our minds and hearts.

The more we have talked about these things, the more certain thoughts have worked themselves to the forefront:
"Fear not, for the Lord your God is with you..."

"For He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind."

"Grave, where is your victory; Death, where is your sting?"

"Let not evil overcome you, but overcome evil with good."

and, weaving in and through it all..."This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."

It has all made me wonder. We debate, we argue, we study origins, we study historical context, we ennumerate changes in the holiday, we look down our noses at others who view the day differently than we... but do we ever ask how the Lord Himself views this day of His own creation? Not the celebration itself (and, really, which celebration? Halloween? Samhain? Fall Festival?), but THE DAY? He seems to have a high view of His creation. He loves it. Cares for it. Redeemed it.

And we call it unholy. Think about it. Generally speaking, THE DAY is seen as unholy. Not some of the actions that take place within it. Not some of the motivations of mens' hearts on it. THE DAY. October 31. It is unholy. Why? Why, when the Lord Himself created the day, when He went to great lengths to redeem ALL of His creation, do we say that His work does not extend to this one day? Because we have a problem with what certain people do on it? We cower in our homes, decry THE DAY from our pulpits, sequester ourselves in our churches, and pray for the day to pass and either protection or judgement to fall on those who live through it dependent upon their deeds.

We deny the power of our living God. We fear the evil that He has already overcome. We are afraid it will touch us, will somehow win the battle it has already lost if we do not hide ourselves from it. We do not counter it with good and live fully as unto our Lord on that day; we denounce any who would choose to find that which is good and lovely and dare to celebrate it on that day just because certain others choose to celebrate that which is abhorrent on the same day. We call it "softening the truth" or "imitating the World." I wonder how many other days in the calendar year that evil people celebrate evil things. Do they do it on Sundays? Saturdays? The days on which our birthdays and anniversaries fall? Should we scope it all out and make sure not to celebrate our Lord and the lives/families/gifts He has given us on those days as well?

Why, when He has clearly and explicitly commanded us to the contrary and assured us of our freedom, would we throw away the gifts of our Father and hand HIS DAY - the one HE created - over to the enemy? Why do we listen to the lies of fear, the taunting of evil, the cackling whisper of death who sneer that this is *their* day? Why do we block our ears to the joyous, jubilant voice of our Daddy who tells us that we are His and who calls us to rejoice in Him even on THIS day?

I don't get it.
Fear, Evil, Death...you've lost. Deal with it.
My Daddy and I have a playdate.