It’s almost that time. The time when everyone loses their minds in ministry and argue over that one day of the year, Halloween. Over the years, I’ve seen so much energy put into whether “the church” should acknowledge Halloween let alone leverage it to reach people for Jesus Christ through things like Trunk or Treat or Harvest Festivals.
This lesson is part of a four part series called Bringing Back the Dead, which starts with Halloween in lesson one, but transitions to All Saints Day where we remember the saints (hence Bringing Back The Dead) who have gone before us. Here are the four lesson in all
– Bringing Back The Dead: The Darkness, The Devil and The Dead
– Bringing Back The Dead Part 1: Biblical Martyrs
– Bringing Back The Dead Part 2: Historical Martyrs
– Bringing Back The Dead Part 3: God’s Deal With The Dead
You can grab the series here
Are we practicing paganism on Halloween if we dress up and get candy? No more than we do at Christmas by having a tree in our home or letting our kids hunt for Easter eggs. There are those who say we should abandon it all.
If you do not practice any of these holidays, I don’t judge you, but remember there’s 364 days during the year and many Christians are not putting the same kind of energy behind getting upset about the things we shouldn’t be getting upset about.
The real issue is about who’s in charge on Halloween, and the other 364 days. I get it, “do not conform to the world” but the world doesn’t own October 31, God does. That’s why I wrote this lesson. I want students to understand the overwhelming power God has over Satan, all the time.
Lesson One: The Darkness, The Devil and The Dead
Opener: Candy Corn Catch
Have a bag of candy corn ready and how ever many pairs of people who wish to participate. Have team stand about 10ft apart from one another as one person attempts to throw candy corn into the mouth of another.
Variation: As in an egg toss, have the person who is catching the candy corn in their mouth, take a step back each time they catch one. Have a line that they must cross in order for their team to win.
History of Halloween – According to Wikipedia
Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain & Brythonic festival Calan Gaeaf: that such festivals may have had pagan roots; and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. Some believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset.
Many of Halloween’s practices such as dressing up and going to house to house reciting phrases for candy are derived from some of these festivals.
The “supernatural” element Halloween comes from the Pagan belief, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into our world.
The Christian Version of Halloween – According to Wikipedia
Say: Pagan festivals are nothing new. The question is, do we put more faith into pagan tradition or into our Christian faith. For the modern Christian, Halloween isn’t about whether the line between the supernatural dark realm and this world is thinner on October 31 so that fairies can jump over into our world. It’s more about getting a bag full of chocolate and keeping dentists in business.
Let me offer you some truth’s from God’s word concerning how we should look at a day like Halloween, darkness, and evil.
The devil isn’t any more powerful on Halloween than any other day
We give the devil entirely to much credit on days like Halloween. We see costumes, horror movies, and think the devil runs rampant. Not so In fact, the devil run amok all year long because the world is his by right.
Read: Matthew 4:8-11
Why could the devil offer such a deal to Jesus? Because the world, the earthly side of things, is his playground earned through cheating Adam and Eve out of their rightful dominion over the earth as well as their inability to see themselves made in the image of God.
Yes, God is sovereign over all things, but as the devil had God’s permission to tempt Adam and Eve back in the garden, he has that same permission today, and every day, including Halloween to cheat people out of the same things he cheated Adam and Eve out of.
Jesus refers to devil as the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30) A prince is a ruler and one with great influence, but he is not the king. Jesus still holds that spot.
The Apostle Paul says
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Say: So the devil is busy, everyday making offers to trade our God given identity in Christ and blind us from the truth of God’s word. Yes, the devil is powerful, but, as Jesus said, “we have overcome the world”
The world is not a darker place on Halloween than any other day.
Horror movies come out every month, not just in October. Violent music comes out every month, not just in October. People sin every day, not just October. The spiritual darkness we are in is real every day and Halloween is just another way the devil tries to distract us from his 365 day 24/7 mission to lead people into darkness.
Read: I John 2:11
Hatred is an everyday thing and has nothing to do with candy and costumes. The deception is that we should hate Halloween more than we hate racism or inequality because of crazy costumes or a fascination with serial killers. We have 364 other days a year to fight the darkness that is in our world, yet we spend a lot of time talking about how dark Halloween is.
Say: The culture is not a darker place on Halloween. Netflix can be a dark place. The internet can be a dark place. We talk more about not going trick or treating than talking about not watching or listening to dark things the other 364 days of the year.
Where the world glorifies the dead, God see life
Read Romans 14:9
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. Romans 14:9
In the horror movies, the dead are mindless, soulless hunters. In fact, the godfather of undead movies, George Romero’s saw the dead as representing something,
In A Time Magazine article written after his death,
He (Romero) found ways to talk about the human condition by showing what humans become when all of their politesse—and all of their feelings, including generosity and compassion—are stripped away.
The spiritually dead represent a life without Christ. Without Christ we we are mindless wanderers seeking to absorb the life of others to survive. In the movie Warmbodies, the dead start becoming human again when kindness is shown to them. The dead evolve back to humans.
This is God’s plan, to move us from mindless consumers to those brought back from the dead because of the kindness of God ( Romans 2:4)
God is in control 365 days a year
The devil doesn’t make the sun to rise or set on October 31.
You can say with confidence on October 31
The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24
When things get dark we should shine bright, every day. If you think Halloween is the darkest day of the year, you should shine your brightest, but we ought to shine brightly every day.
Read Romans 13;11-14
Yes, dark things happen on October 31, but dark things happen everyday and every day we have a chance to shine.
Everyone has to approach every day, not just Halloween, and ask ,”will I participate in the deeds of darkness?” Or “will I put on the armor of light?”
Don’t let the day of Halloween distract you from the good you can do or allow it to fascinate you into participating in things that would not honor the Lord.
Close in prayer
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