October 31st is fast approaching and it is a day that that means different things to different people. Some are looking forward to dressing up and celebrating, others are unsettled by it whereas it holds spiritual significance for other individuals.
Whatever our stance may be its important to understand the origins and significance of any practice or tradition that we want to incorporate into our lives.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge’’.
The origins of Halloween have been widely debated. It is believed that Halloween originated from a pagan festival celebrated by the Celtics known as Samhain which was then Christianised by the early church. However others believe that Halloween originated independently of this pagan festival. Whatever the case may be Halloween (also known as ‘All Hallows’ Eve or ‘All Saints Eve’) is observed by certain Christian denominations and it is the eve of the feast of ‘All Saints Day’.
It may come as a shock to some of you that Halloween could be linked to Christianity. After all Halloween celebrates darkness which is the complete opposite of what Christianity represents.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
1 John 1:5:
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.
As with many practices and traditions that get passed on, overtime the true meaning becomes lost. Often people adopt practices and traditions just for the sake of it, not fully understanding the origins.
Some of the practices that take place on Hallows’ eve involve praying, fasting and attendance at vigils. Souling was a practice that took place on Hallows’ Eve whereby poor people and children would be given soul cakes in exchange for singing and praying for the souls of the givers and their families.
When we think of Halloween, praying and fasting are not the first things that come to mind. Trick or treating, witches, wizards, vampires … that’s more like it. There has been a shift in perspective and Halloween has become heavily commercialised.
At the end of the day when debating whether to incorporate any kind of tradition or practice into our lives it is important to remember that the Lord tells us to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). There are so many different ideologies and practices in our world today that it often gets overwhelming. We have to be extremely careful of what we let into our lives because we do not want to quench the spirit or dim the light of the Lord within us.
8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Should people that believe in God celebrate it? Feel free to comment below!