Today is Halloween. In a few hours our street will be lined with cars dropping their children off for trick or treating. Children all over the country will collectively come away with tons of candy. Teens and adults will have costume parties. Halloween has become a really big deal.
Recent studies have shown that Americans will spend over $5 billion on costumes! If you add in the costumes, cards, candy and decorations, each American family will spend nearly $65 for Halloween. You can read a bit more about how big Halloween has become at this site: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/Advice/TheseDaysHalloweensABigDeal.aspx
The enjoyment many people find in Halloween is not just in the costumes and candy. Halloween, with its haunted houses, ghosts and scary masks, takes the edge off of fear. We know it’s not real (at least most of us do). We can experience a bit of fright without any real danger.
One of the issues I have always had with Halloween is seeing children and adults dressed up as Satan. No, I don’t think people who choose to put on a red costume, horns, tail and carry a pitchfork have somehow become Satan worshipers. The problem comes in reducing Satan to some kind of cartoon character. That is NOT who the Accuser is. Consider this warning from Scripture: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Go ahead and have your costume parties. Take your kids around to gather a large stash of sugary treats. Carve your pumpkins and visit haunted houses – but be aware that there is a real evil in this world. The bad news is that those of us who belong to JESUS have a very real, very powerful, very crafty adversary. The good news is that through JESUS we have the victory. Satan has been defeated. I leave you on this Halloween with these words: “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)