Summary: Our ability to enjoy every day that God has given us is not dependant on how others view that day. We don’t walk in the darkness of fear. We walk in the light of Christ! We have no need to be afraid of the dark.
Don’t Fear the Dark, I John 4:18
Our family dog Happy is a big baby! For such a big dog, she is afraid of some of the silliest and smallest things. Recently my wife and I were at the store and our two year son Sebastian saw a toy that he just had to have.
It is a plastic ball that has little raised numbers and farm animals on it that can be pushed down. Some of them make noise and others make it sing songs. If you place the ball on the floor it has a thing inside of it to make it roll on its own. It is a lot of fun for a toddler and apparently it is very frightening to a Saint Bernard!
Sebastian was playing with this ball. He was throwing it and kicking it and then chasing it. Meanwhile every time the ball would roll near Happy the Saint Bernard, her eyes would get really big and she would flop her big body away from where the ball was.
Apparently there is something inside of this ball which is very dangerous to a Saint Bernard which the rest of us are unaware of! Or at least that is what my dog Happy perceives about the ball.
Even though the ball is perfectly safe to her and can do nothing really to harm her, Happy is afraid of the ball because of her perceptions and misunderstandings about it. Though the ball is harmless and can not hurt her, she is afraid because she is convinced that it will, in fact, cause her harm.
Happy’s problem is not the ball. Her problem is fear, which is caused by a false perception of the world around her. Her fear is unfounded, but she is convinced of her irrational fears.
How often are we just the same way? How often do people fear something simply because they don’t understand it?
In I John 4:18, the bible says that perfect love – the love of Christ which is in us – casts out fear. We have no need to live in fear of things simply because we do not understand them.
As believers, let us be unafraid to investigate the truth of a matter so that armed with the love of Christ and the truth… we can live free from fear and misunderstanding.
A lot of Christians live in fear of Halloween. They have all kinds of misunderstandings and irrational perceptions about the holiday which make them afraid to enjoy even the good things that may be found in this American festival.
It reminds me of the way that so many children are afraid of the dark. Even though the world around them is not much different in the darkness than it is in the light, they perceive it to be different and so to them it is.
October 31st is no different than October 30th or November 1st. Every day is a day that God has given us to enjoy. Every day is evil or good based not on the name of that day, but based on how we use that day.
Let us examine the history of Halloween so that we can know what all of the fuss is about.
History of Halloween (From the History Channel Website)
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts – who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France – celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.
For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.