Summary: Soon you will have an army of children descend on your home dressed in costume and saying Trick or Treat as they try their best to load their bags up with candy. This was not what Halloween was intended to be.
Christians in Costume
Soon you will have an army of children descend on your home dressed in costume and saying Trick or Treat as they try their best to load their bags up with candy.
This was not what Halloween was intended to be. But today our society has turned it into a night of fun and festivities mostly for children. Some call it Halloween, All Hallows Eve but we in the church know it as All Saints Day.
Originally it was a day set apart to commemorate all the martyrs of the Christian Faith. It was not a day of fun and festivities but rather one of solemn reflection on the sacrifices that so many made for their faith in Jesus Christ.
A martyr was someone who died for their faith during the time of the Early Church. These were men, women and boys and girls who were rounded up and then marched into the Roman arena to be put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Some were forcibly dressed in costumes and some were covered in animals skins and then offered up to Gladiators who would put on mock battles or they would be offered up to wild beast to be torn apart for the entertainment of the crowd.
The word Martyr means witness. These early witnesses refused to offer the required sacrifice that was demanded by the Emperor. All they had to do was put a little incense on some hot coals in doing so they would acknowledge the Emperor as a god. Thousands chose to refuse and were put to death. Maybe this is how we got todays demand for a Trick or a Treat.
I do not want to put a damper on your Halloween celebrations but I do want you to know its original purpose. Today we still have people who are dying for their faith in Jesus Christ. Some of us have been made very aware of this since Terrorist had publicly killed Christians just for what they believe. Those Christians are our modern martyrs.
The holiday is a great time for families to have some fun and pretend but we should also take time out as a family to remember the real reason we are able to dress up and knock on doors.
The faith of the Early Christians that had such a dramatic effect on society that within 300 years Rome went from killing Christians in its arena to having a Christian Emperor on its throne.
In todays text we see Abram who is called from his home to a place that God will show him. Abram follows but when he gets to the place he is supposed to be he heads for Egypt where there is no famine.
God sometimes send us to places that have problems. He is sending us because He wants us to be His witness there so we can glorify Him. We do not always know how God will work out His plan we simply have to trust.
Abram was not so trusting he instead disguised himself. He told his wife to tell people he was her brother. Abram took on a costume to cover up who he was. He did it out of fear for what the Egyptians would do to him.
Do you sometimes put on a costume to hide your Christianity? Do you sometimes pretend to be someone you are not? Jesus said in Mark 8:38 NIV
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Fathers glory with the holy angels.
The early Christian church was very hard on the people who hide their faith in order to avoid being arrested and sent to the arenas. Some churches did not let them come back into the church.
We know that there are times when we have failed to be the person God wants us to be. I too have failed to live up to what Jesus wants me to be. In times like that I remember Peter who denied Jesus three times. I also remember how Jesus restored Peter and used Peters life to bring many to faith.
Do not hide whom you are in Christ let it be revealed in your life and actions, do not disguise who you are. So what is the Christian to put on this Halloween?
12Therefore, as Gods chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
The message of Jesus Christ is one of forgiveness and eternal life for all who would seek to repent of their sins. Today Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts and asks us to give Him our sins in exchange for His sacrifice on the cross.
How would you respond to Jesus this Halloween if He knocked on your door? Will you be in disguise or let Jesus see you as you are? A sinner in need of the changing power of His love.