October 2, 2009

The Halloween Dilemma

So I have always gone back and forth as to how I feel about celebrating Halloween. When I learned the true paganistic origin of it, i was convinced that by joining in any of the halloween traditions I would be condoning paganism and opening myself up to some major problems. I do feel now at this time in my life that I was giving way too much credit and attention to paganism and satan himself!

Now that I have Julia and as we approach this holiday, I have really been torn whether to let her take part in what she would just see as fun, dressing up, getting candy, and carving smiley faces into pumpkins. Would we go to the church festivals or avoid it all together? I decided that I would not let the devil have the power to steal my daughter's joy over something she doesnt even understand. By giving him credit he does not deserve and making my little girl feel left out, I may just be fueling the fire of rebellion later. Now, there is something to teaching her that we do not completely fit in this world. It's true that we are in but not of the world. But I know that my daughter doesn't have the intellectual capacity to understand this yet.

So we will not celebrate with witches, ghosts, black cats, etc. We will allow the girly costumes and go to the church festivals and get candy. And we will let her dress up for school because thats all it really will be for her "dressing up".

I read a great article from a website called carm.org, and it talked about this very subject. They also raise the question about Christmas tree's. The Christmas Tree was originally part of a festival to worship a fertility god. Does this mean that if we have a Christmas Tree, we are worshipping the fertility god? No, because of it's cultural context. That being said, I have heard of Christians who don't have Christmas Trees, for this reason. It is a matter of personal conviction.

When I thought about whether it would be ok for us to carve pumpkins with Julia, I started to do some research on that and found this wonderful devotional using a pumpkin.

"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! 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!"

We will use the above story every year when we carve our pumpkins and also use the prayer below in conjunction with it. I love to start traditions now that we have Julia and I am so excited for this one:)

{cut off top of pumpkin}
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}
Remove the things in my life that don’t please you.
Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}
Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}
Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}
Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen


l said...

i love the pumpkim carving bible story we might have to use it too:)

proudmama! said...

Aw...i know, its so cute! So simple and so true! I am going to put some cute pumpkins pics on it and print and laminate it so we can have it for years to come:)