"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
It's a gray, gray day outside today. It's been raining most of the night, and it's still going. Someone posted this verse above on Facebook, and it made me smile, because the only light so far this morning is coming from inside the house- it's just a dreary, blustery day.
Jesus is the light of the world. I actually was thinking about this very thing last night, so seeing this verse this morning is confirmation to me that I was thinking the right thing. I had been thinking about Halloween. It's this coming Sunday, and every year I feel so conflicted about letting my kids dress up and do the trick-or-treat thing. Every year! Last year was the best Halloween ever, because we had a conference, and were at church all day, so the subject of Halloween didn't even really come up. But as Halloween gets closer, and the kids are asking to go door-to-door, I just wish I had a really good answer for them.
What I was thinking about yesterday was about the actual "holiday" Halloween. You know, it has so many different stories as to what it celebrates and where it came from. The one I was particularly thinking of was the witchcraft celebration of Halloween as one of their "high holidays" of the year. And it actually made me laugh, because I thought about this people group who worships the sun, the moon and the earth around them, and I just was shaking my head, because to me, that seems so silly to worship "things". And things that God created after all! You know, once upon a time (and not all that long ago) the day of Halloween made me nervous. Maybe it was too many bad stories in Sunday School growing up about the evil that lurks on Halloween, but I would try to stay in at home as much as possible- I just had this feeling of foreboding when I would go out, that I had to watch myself because there was evil lurking about on Halloween.
But you know what? Jesus is the light of the world. And anyone who follows him will NEVER walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. There is absolutely no reason to fear the day of Halloween. The thing is, when Jesus died on that cross for my sins, the devil lost every single chance to send evil my way. I have Jesus inside of me- evil doesn't stand a chance. It can try to scare me and mess with me, but the reality is that with Jesus a part of me, the darkness must flee. It has to, because I walk with the light of life a part of me at all times.
When you flip a switch on even a very small lamp, it lights up the darkest of rooms instantly. When we ask Jesus into our hearts and lives, that switch is flipped, and while darkness may try to creep in from time to time, it really stands no chance with the light of life dwelling inside of us. As I thought on this yesterday, it came to me that I really had no reason to be concerned about the day of Halloween. No reason at all. Then I thought about my kids going trick-or-treating, and I wondered if that was a compromise to participate in the holiday. Eh. I've decided not. Because while we do trick-or-treating on the day of Halloween, it doesn't mean we endorse the day and celebrate it. I also thought that if we decided to take a stand and say we weren't going to do it, that we would also have to consider not participating in some of the Christmas activities we do, and the Easter activities we do, and maybe even reconsider parts of Thanksgiving.
So you know, my kids want to dress up and go ask the neighbors for candy. Being new in the neighborhood, maybe this is a great opportunity to get to know some neighbors. While Andy and the kids go out walking, I'll be at home with the light turned on to say hello as the neighbors knock on our door. The light will be on, and who knows what opportunities could come in the future to share Jesus with our neighbors because we chose to not be hermits and hide away on this day.