As I sit here and write, I’ll be interrupted frequently with a knock at the door by kids dressed up in all manner of costumes and several who aren’t dressed up at all. My own kids are currently out in the neighborhood doing the same. In fact, they just came in the door with their haul.
Halloween has always been one of those ‘in the world, but not of the world’ kinds of things for me. Even growing up, we always participated, but my parents made it quite clear where we really stood on the issues surrounding Halloween. It was something fun to do as long as we kept things in perspective. We always went door to door, but we never got into Halloween parties or the like. We didn’t decorate the house. It wasn’t a big deal…it was mostly an excuse to get a bunch of candy for free.
Growing up, I found it a rather unfortunate accident of the calendar that Reformation Day and Halloween fell on the same day. Would Protestant’s have as many ‘mixed feelings’ about Halloween if it didn’t share itself with the hanging of the 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany? Maybe some would, but for the most part, I think there’d be a lot less angst over Halloween among Reformed Christians if it were on a different day.
Even so, I’ve appreciated the fact that over the years both at home and at school our kids have learned that today is also, Reformation Day. What happened today is an important event in the history of the church. As long as our kids keep remembering that history and learning about that event maybe having my two-year old put on a spider costume and go door-to-door saying, “tick-or-teat” isn’t the worst thing in the world. Besides, Jessica likes to roast the seeds that we pull out of the pumpkins when we carve them.
So I, for one, wish you a Happy (and guilt-free) Reformation Day and I hope you get lots of candy.