"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." ~John 1:5
According to the calendar, today is Halloween.
And while there may be some disagreement about whether or not Christ-followers should participate in Halloween, we know God asks us to live as light in the midst of darkness.
So here are just some easy-to-implement suggestions of ways to redeem this day-- Halloween.
1) As a family, research Reformation Day, which is also October 31st, and spend the day learning about and celebrating it instead:
--Add in some fun crafts or activities that go along with Reformation Day.
--If you have older children, watch the movie Luther together.
2) Decide that your family (and your home) is going to be a literal light in the darkness.
--In a society where neighborhood relationships, community and interaction is becoming more and more rare, use tonight as an opportunity to leave on the lights and to connect with neighbors that you might never see or talk with otherwise.
--Make sure your porch is well lit and have a candy bowl that is full of "good candy". Take time to meet and interact with each parent and child who arrives on your doorstep.
--Consider making or purchasing little bags of pumpkin treats (muffins, bread, or cookies) to take around to give your neighbors.
--Make plenty of hot apple cider to hand out to the parents of trick-or-treaters.
3) Get a jump on the season of Thanksgiving.
--We know it's God's will that we "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18) so shift the focus to giving thanks-- today.
-- Check out these 7 Mini Challenges for helping your children become more thankful.
--Start your own collection of Jordan River Rocks.
--Print out a foldable count-your-blessings-card for each family member and start the counting today.
--If you've been in the Valley of Massah (grumbling and complaining)...read through this list of verses together as a family and ask God to grow an attitude of thankfulness.
4) As a family, commit to-- "Letting your lights shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16
--Buy or make seasonal treats to deliver to teachers at the your child's school or to the staff at your church and make sure you include a note telling them how thankful you are for them.
--Choose one family that you know has been struggling with sickness or financial difficulties and bring them a surprise dinner tonight.
--As a family, use the afternoon to help a neighbor who needs some leaf-pick-up help.
--If you know of family with younger children that don't have grandparents in the area, offer to watch their children for a fun movie-popcorn-trick-or-treating-night so that the parents can have a date.
5) Above and beyond all, remember that God's light triumphs over darkness.
-- ...even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. ~ Psalm 139:12
-- And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. ~ Isaiah 42:16
-- Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." ~John 8:12
May each and every one of us live as light in the midst of darkness, for Him, today.