October 31st is a “Family Day” for us…in the past, we have gone out to eat at a restaurant or headed to a theater to see a movie together. This year we were a little chilled and tired after a fun “Harvest Festival” day at church, so we popped some popcorn and made hot chocolate (“hot vanilla” for my Feingold diet munchkins!) and headed down to the basement to watch “Hook”, which was a favorite in my family growing up. We pulled the blinds down and turned out all the lights in the house so that nobody would come to the door.
Why do we not “celebrate Halloween”?? Various reasons, none necessarily the same as why others choose to bow out of activities on “All Hallows Eve”. Though we do miss the opportunity to be missional in our neighborhood, greeting each person who comes to the door seeking treats, what we gain is the chance to make this day stand out as something different…something apart from what can easily become a day to glorify darkness and evil, death and fear. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” 1 John 1:5.
October 31st is Reformation Day. So we speak to the children (some years in more detail than others) about the gospel and those who gave their lives to proclaim it. About how precious the church is to Christ, who gave his life for it. About God’s Word, and how privileged we are to have a copy (or several!) in our own language that we can read without fear of punishment. We set this day aside to spend together as a family, doing something fun. Though the expectation would be there for our children to respect our decision to be different from other families regarding this day, we still want it to be fun for them, a special experience.
So…there we are. Happy Reformation Day!!