The other day I was talking to my sister, who lives in N. Carolina, about Halloween. She told me she’d been discussing Halloween activities with some co-workers. They told her the church doesn’t call it a Halloween party but a Fun Fall Festival. The children go to the event dressed as their favorite Bible character. She told them when we were kids our church gave us containers to collect money for UNICEF then we’d go to a party at the church dressed as anything we liked. Now I ask you which seems more of a Christian ideal- dressing up as a Bible character or collecting money to help others?
Afterwards I wondered what a biblical themed party would be like. I imagined walking into a room with all these miniature “apostles” donned in old sheets with their dad’s raggy work shirts that have had the collar and cuffs removed layered over the sheet and cinched around their middles with a bit of rope. They are all running about. There’s an adult saying to a little boy “And who are you?” The boy holds up a hunk of netting and says, “I’m James”. “Gee, I thought you were Andrew” replies the adult. Really, I think. How could you tell one from the other? And how many Marys and angels can one party hold? This place was packed with them. Ok so there are other roles for girls if you include the Old Testament but many churches emphasize the New Testement which, like back then kind of sucks if you’re a female, few choices.
Then I visualize the smart-ass teenager doing his impression of Jesus turning the water into wine by spiking the punch. In the corner, boys are throwing wadded up paper towels at someone recreating the stoning of Paul. I see another little boy lying on the ground being told to get up. ”No”, he says. “I’m Lazawus. I haven’t been wesuwected yet.” Though his miss-pronunciations are adorable he’s yanked up by the arm by his mom. “You are now,” she says.
All right maybe my imagination took off a bit. (I personally like when that happens) The party is not like this at all. There are games and food for the children to enjoy. They’re safe. And probably more than a few, though frowned upon by the church, have gone trick or treating. Whatever you think of the day I hope you enjoy it.