Stranger Things

Halloween is a major event in the little town of Wallace, where ENan and I live, and our neighborhood is especially popular on Halloween night.  We had to turn out the lights and hide in the back of the house after we “treated” 300 ghosts, goblins, and ninjas this week.

Halloween is somewhat of a dilemma for some folks.  In our tradition, Halloween is a fun event.  We don’t go in so much for the really scary costumes, but even the adults in our circle like to dress up and enjoy the season (evidence: the picture above is our senior pastor).  Other people we know frown on anything that hints at demons and witchcraft and steer clear of Halloween festivities.

I recently came across an interesting perspective on Halloween written by retired Methodist minister, Steve Garnaas-Holmes. 

Halloween: a day when we get it right.
Strangers come to us,
Beautiful, ugly, odd or scary,
And we accept them all without question,
Compliment them, treat them kindly, 
and give them good things.
Why don’t we live like that?

There is something very Biblical about this poem.  Jesus accepted all kinds of people, dined with social outcasts, conversed with demon-possessed folks, and asked assistance from women of questionable morals.  He showed hospitality toward everyone he met and expected his followers to do the same. 

The Bible describes how the early believers worshiped together, helped each other, and “ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” (Acts 2:46)  The writer of Hebrews even says, “Don’t neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (Hebrews 13:2)

That person at your door might be an angel – even if they are dressed like a flamingo!

By Dr. Jim Baldwin

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