|Synopsis: Halloween - an evil holiday to avoid at all costs, or a tradition that upon closer examination reveals the true Spirit of Christmas? You be the judge.|
Read the Conditions of Use Statement.
The True Spirit of Christmas
adapted by permission from a short story by the same title by my personal friend, Audrey Adams
based on the original thoughts of her friend Nicole Johnson
The typical tradition of trick-or-treating at Halloween is something discouraged in most Christian communities. It is seen as a dark, evil practice that has its origins in satanic celebrations and the occult. So it may be. At the same time, however, the typical tradition of Santa Claus and flying reindeer at Christmas is often seen by Christians as a relatively harmless tradition, having it's origins in the secret benevolences of a gentle old saint named Nicholas.
Every October, my local Christian radio station broadcasts a "history of Halloween," condemning all association with trick-or-treating. Two months later, the same station airs a "history of Christmas" and condones the story of Santa Claus and all that comes with it.
However, I submit to you that the Halloween custom of trick-or-treat represents the true Spirit of Christmas more than the typical tradition associated with the December holiday itself. How? Think about it.
Christmas tradition threatens us with the notion that our benefactor has a list with our name on it. If we have been naughty, he will pass over us and give us nothing. If we are nice, he will shower us with gifts. As we grow older and realize that Santa is just a myth, we continue to expect gifts under the tree from our parents. If they didn't give them to us, we would be outraged or despondent. We then learn to give gifts to others out of obligation and reciprocation. We go into debt to purchase something that is not ours in order to give it to someone else who also did the same for us. Then, we pay for it well into the next year on our credit card bills. Before long, we've had our own children and started the same madness all over again. Is it no wonder that the suicide rate peaks during the holidays?
In contrast, Halloween trick-or-treating teaches us just the opposite. Here we learn to reveal our ugliest of faces and darkest of hearts. We stand at the door and knock, our gift bags opened and our hands extended, believing we will freely receive something that we did not earn and do not deserve. We return home with a surpriseful of treats -- bags overflowing with sweets to enjoy well into the next month and maybe even the next year. As we grow older, one day we are the ones answering the door, freely giving sweets to whoever knocks, no matter who they are or what they look like.
See what I mean?
Christmas tradition teaches us that as children we earn or deserve the gifts we receive, and as adults that we are obligated to give to others.
Halloween tradition teaches us as children that we can do nothing to earn or deserve our gifts, and as adults that we are to freely give to others, no matter who they are or what they look like.
Jesus freely gives the gift of eternal life to all who come to Him, no matter where they have been or what they have done. There is no list of naughty and nice, because we could never earn this gift no matter how hard we tried. There is a list with our names in it, but it is a guest book, representing all those who have come to Jesus and received his gift. We, in turn, learn to freely give this same gift to others, no matter who they are, what they do, or what they look like.
That's the true Spirit of Christmas.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Copyright 2013, YouthPastor.com. All Rights Reserved
Reproduction allowed for personal use only. More info at: