Being a Christian to me, is not about "We don't do this, or 'celebrate' that, because it's wrong, blah blah.."
It's finding that just because we live in a fallen world which definitely tries to demote who Jesus is to "religion"; we aren't governed to live by legalism. His Love for me is not contingent upon the acts I perform or holiday's I participate in such as Halloween. God's love is unconditional. He Loved me even when I didn't choose him.
Truly being a Christ follower, has to do with the condition of an individuals heart. There is freedom (aligned with God's word) in Christ and through God, beauty and revelation is always found...even in a holiday that was created from superstition, and paganism.
So although we do not dress in anything scary, we do participate in getting candy, and dressing up in fun costumes. It's fun, and we welcome the opportunity to teach our children to see Jesus in everything!
Found this great devotional online, there is a shorter version of the devotion I read in an email a few years ago, and it's posted at the end of this devotional. We read the shorter version this year.
Devotional illustrated with pumpkin carving:
Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin! Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)
First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.
He then washes all the “dirt” off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.
Then, He carefully removes all the “yucky stuff” called “sin” out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power. He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That’s why it is important to go the church and learn about God’s Word.
He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God’s love in your life.
Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!
Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. “Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”
So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us. We can say like this jack-o-lantern, “Thy presence, my light!”
Shorter version of the above poem:
God picks you from the patch,brings you in,
and washes all of the dirt off.
Then, He cuts the top off and scoops out all of the yucky stuff.
He removes seeds of doubt, hate, greed, unforgiveness, etc.
Then, He carves a new smiling face
Puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.
Are you letting your light shine? Shine for Jesus!