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Engaging Your Neighborhood This Halloween

Parenting Points

      

Halloween is October’s national holiday, yet for some Christians, Halloween is taboo. Due to the evil nature of the day with ghosts, goblins, and devils, many Christians have sought to avoid the day by either turning off all the lights to hide from kids in costumes or running down to the local church for the latest “fall festival” activity. But what if Halloween became a strategic day for your family to build connections with your neighbors?

When it comes to cultural engagement, theologians have debated over the course of many pages what the appropriate Christian response is to engaging culture. Should Christians seek just to become another part of the broader culture? Should we create our own Christianized copy of the culture (i.e., fall festivals)? Or should we seek to look thoughtfully for opportunities to step into a cultural moment to shine as the light in the darkness? In the middle of the darkness of Halloween, followers of Jesus have an excellent opportunity to be the light. In choosing to be the light in the darkness, we can be like John the Baptist, standing in the darkness and pointing to Jesus as the light: He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7).

Your family has an opportunity to bear witness to Jesus’ light this Halloween. When we think of this statement, our minds may rush to ideas of passing out tracts at the door or making people listen to gospel presentations for a free mini-Snickers bar. Just as Jesus came into the darkness relationally, our approach to being the light of Jesus to our neighbors must first and foremost be relational. We want to love our neighbors well, befriend them, and point them to the hope we have found in Jesus through our words, actions, and deeds. Engaging your neighbors for Halloween begins by being intentional about being home on Halloween night. Halloween is a great night to meet neighbors and begin to build relationships. Through these connections, God may open doors to go deeper into relationships.

This Halloween may be a great opportunity for your family to stop hiding from your neighbors in the back of the house or run to attend the fall festival at the local church. Trading these activities may open the door for your home to be a place of light, hope, and healing for those around you.

Ben Birdsong-Dr. Ben Birdsong

Missions Minister at Christ Church Birmingham

Writer and Speaker

www.benbirdsong.com

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