Yes, God can and must be celebrated on Halloween, but how you do it has to be intentional and premeditated. Join AMBrewster as he shares various ways to prepare for, observe, and disciple during Halloween all to the glory of God!
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
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Welcome back to the show dedicated to helping you better know, better love, and better serve our great God . . . and then teach others to better know, love, and serve Him too.
I’m so glad you are here. This is a new podcast, and you’re never certain how well people will resonate with it. When I started the Truth.Love.Parent. podcast — in our first two months — our highest download day was 48, and most days we averaged 0 downloads. And now Truth.Love.Parent. is heard around the world and is regularly voted one of the best podcasts for Christian parents.
Well, in The Celebration of God’s first two months we’ve had far more downloads and far more consistent downloads every day. We haven’t had a 0 download day since our second day live.
So, I’m very excited about the future of this podcast, this program, and this movement. And I’m honored that you’re joining us here at the very beginning of it all.
The Celebration of God is a dynamic discipleship experience that helps us and our communities better know, love and serve God. What better goal could there be?
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Allow me to showcase one our gracious reviews.
Cowboy 61 writes, “An exciting new podcast!!! Every episode is packed with practical ways to celebrate our amazing God. Host AMBrewster takes us on a biblical journey that quiets our wayward hearts to a place of worship and thanksgiving!”
Thank you, cowboy, and thank you to everyone who has rated and reviewed.
Alright, don’t forget to visit CelebrationOfGod.com — especially if this is your first time with us. There you will find our introductory episodes as well as free episode notes and transcripts for every show.
Now, let’s figure out a few ways we can worship God on October 31st.
I’m assuming that since you’re listening to this episode that you heard our last episode about whether or not you should participate in Halloween.
Hopefully you also went to CelebrationOfGod.com and clicked on our holidays tab to find the other Halloween resources and discovered the other podcast episodes on the subject.
Well, today you can now find a list of suggested Bible reading as well as Anticipations for our observance of Halloween.
And — if this is your first visit with us — the three main parts of any major or minor Hollidays is Preparation, Observation or Celebration depending on the focus of the event, and Discipleship.
So, we’re going to discuss how we should Prepare for Halloween, Observe Halloween, and Disciple during Halloween.
Preparation always includes three main things: preparing our hearts, preparing our spaces, and preparing our people.
Today we’re going to start with what could be considered the least important of those three.
A. Prepare your spaces.
When I speak of “preparing our spaces” I’m talking about getting our geographical location ready to celebrate God. This can include our homes, offices, churches, classrooms, yards, and anywhere else you plan to celebrate God.
And though we’ve taken a lot of time talking about the value and importance of setting up memorials and reminders, sometimes it’s just not effective or possible.
For example, the memorials commanded of the Jews in the Old Testament usually resided in one fixed location. The stack of rocks set up to commemorate the entrance of the Israelites into the promised land inhabited one place and functioned as a memorial for the people who saw it on a regular basis.
Also, if you spend a lot of time at Walmart, I can promise you they’re not going to let you hang Bible verses on their walls. And you don’t really have any right to redecorate someone else’s home.
So, sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you can’t or shouldn’t set up memorials for the holiday.
But — when it comes to your personal spaces — setting up a Celebration Wall is a wonderful, very valuable idea. Episode 16 will give you a solid start to creating your Celebration Wall if you haven’t done it already.
Still, we have to ask the question, will God be glorified by us decorating our spaces for Halloween?
That is a tricky question, but it’s not tricky because it’s Halloween. I believe we’re going to encounter the same difficulty when it comes time to decorate for Christmas and Easter.
The World is not interested in celebrating God. They want to celebrate Jack Skellington, Santa, Monsters, the Easter Bunny, and Jack O’Lanterns. Will filling our spaces with images of Santa draw our minds back to the glory and majesty of God? I don’t think so.
In the same way, if we’re intentionally going to deck our Celebration Walls and — by extension — the rest of our homes for the purpose of drawing our minds to the reality and awesomeness of God in order to guide our hearts into meditation and worship . . . then we need to be very intentional.
On the other hand, I’m not going to say that it’s inappropriate or sinful to decorate your home with snowmen for Christmas or hearts on Valentines Day. You may decorate your home however you like as long as you believe that God will be glorified by it.
So, in order to simplify today’s discussion, I’m going to talk solely about preparing our Celebration Walls. And no, there shouldn’t be any skeletons or werewolves or ghosts or other contemporary Halloween icons on that board. The Wall is for remembering God and God alone.
Now, I do believe it’s appropriate to decorate your Wall with seasonal beauty. We have a garland of dried leaves around our Wall since Autumn is the Season of Mercy. And — if you listened to the episode about the Day of Atonement — you know that we have a semi-opaque black veil coving the wall which will come off on November 1st.
I think it’s a great idea to use light to accent the Celebration Wall. And that can be done in so many ways from candles to a border of lights to spot lights.
The point is, our community (whether that’s our family, or students, our congregation — whoever) needs to understand the significance of the items on the Celebration Wall so that they don’t distract from God, but — instead — reinforce our focus on Him.
Now, when it comes to Halloween, I have two main ideas.
1. If you chose to cover your Celebration Wall with a veil, it would be appropriate to not add anything new to the Wall until after October 31st.
At the same time . . .
2. You could post any of the verses I’m going include on this year’s suggested reading list. And you can find that list under the Halloween tab at CelebrationOfGod.com.
For example, given the fact that the Day of Atonement observed the Fall of Man and we’re using Halloween to observe the consequences of sin, it would be very helpful to post I Peter 5:8, “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Of course, we’re not using this verse to add to the fear of the season, instead we should draw our disciplee’s mind to the sober reality that our spiritual enemies (Satan, the World, and the Flesh) are an ever present struggle against which we must stand strong in the Lord.
In a similar way, Romans 13:12 reminds us of our struggle against sin. “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
I will include some passages specifically warning that we not take part in witchcraft and devil worship, but I don’t believe most of us need those reminders. Our whole goal is to elevate Christ during this time of year. But it may be helpful as you help prepare younger people in your life so that there is no confusion over the fact that genuine participation in the demonic is sin.
And this leads us to our second and third points.
B. Prepare your heart.
C. Prepare your people.
The Scripture I share is designed to do four main jobs.
So, how does one prepare their hearts to worship God on October 31st?
There are so many biblical Truths we could bring to bear on this event. How about this? Many children will go around town collecting candy. You could focus on passages about contentment. Verses about love could be used to prepare these same children to consider how they may be a blessing to others with their candy.
Obviously, we could reread the Scriptures from the Day of Atonement to remind ourselves of the consequences of sin and the importance of living righteously in Christ.
On my other podcast, I’ve often mentioned that nearly every verse in the Bible can be easily applied to our parenting. Whether it’s a lesson we must learn, a truth about God that should orient our hearts as we parent, or an illustration to use with our children, God’s Word is eternally practical and relevant. The same is true with the Bible and Halloween.
Now, if you search Bible verses and Halloween, you’re going to find a bunch of passages about demons and witchcraft and the like. And those verses are important. There are people in this world who need that admonition.
But I believe every Scripture has something important to teach us about God and ourselves that can be practically lived out on Halloween.
One of the joys of the Celebration of God is that there is no way we could exhaust the Biblical teaching concerning any of these holidays in just one year. I look forward to creating new reading lists every year as we prepare to celebrate the Lord.
Okay, so 1. Preparation. Don’t ever neglect this step. It’s too easy to celebrate the wrong things when you didn’t prepare yourself to celebrate the right things.
I’ve done this myself on countless occasions. We need to be intentional. We need to have a plan, and the Preparation step should be part of that plan.
The Day of Atonement, Halloween, and the Crucifixion are the main Observances of The Year Long Celebration of God.
Remember, we don’t want to celebrate any events without celebrating the God of the event. But the Day of Atonement and Halloween in particular have a very specific focus of reminding us of the consequences of sin.
That is not something to celebrate.
However, pain and ugliness always finds its opposite in God. We can definitely celebrate God’s plan to place the consequences of sin on Christ. We can celebrate the fact that we desperately need mercy and God is generous to supply it.
You can not only celebrate the goodness God applies to the world’s pain, but you can also continue to Anticipate celebrating God’s plan of redemption. Use this time to look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Consummation.
Any opportunity to remember what God has done, see at what God is doing, and look forward to what He will do is time well spent.
As you can see, observing the painful and celebrating the glorious is a two-edged concept for sure. Focusing on one side to the exclusion of the other is dangerous regardless of which side you prefer. Focusing only on God’s goodness can blind us to our need for holiness. Always focusing on our sin and forgetting God’s grace is humanistic.
However, for my family, I don’t mind spending the bulk of the Season of Mercy focusing on our need and the consequences of sin.
We start off the year celebrating God in the Creation and work. And then we praise Him for our grandparents. But from the end of September to the end of October we get to be reminded of the reason Jesus had to come in the first place. We’re reminded of the fact that we are sinners and that we need mercy and grace and life and power.
This season presents a foundational principle necessary to appreciate the rest of the year. Just like no one will follow Christ unless they first acknowledge that they are a sinner incapable of saving themselves, so we too should be reminded that — even if we’re born again — we daily need God’s provision. We need His mercy for our sins. We need His grace to live a life that pleases Him.
It’s all important, and this month is a valuable time to remind ourselves why the Father had to send His Son in the first place . . . which encapsulates the major holidays of the year.
So, definitely take time on Halloween to observe the effects of sin.
I mentioned earlier that it won’t be difficult with images of death and fear being used by the world to decorate their lawns.
But you are also free to celebrate. Just make sure you’re celebrating the right things. We shouldn’t be celebrating death. Jesus died and rose again to conquer death! We shouldn’t be celebrating fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear!
But we can celebrate God’s gift of fun and pretend and yummy flavors and crisp weather and socializing. We can thank the Lord for the fact that he has a plan to save men from the consequences of sin. We can definitely worship Him for His daily mercy.
But you have to be intentional. You need to focus your mind and the mind of your disciplees.
And that leads us to our final point for today.
All of the themes we’ve discussed and all the suggested passages at CelebrationOfGod.com should be used as we disciple. But I want to repeat something I said earlier and build on it.
As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, conversation is a huge part of discipleship. We need to not only talk about God, but we need to engage their minds in imagining how we can find new ways to celebrate God.
Find members of your church willing to brainstorm new ideas for community outreach. Maybe others would like put together a care package for college students.
Students might all agree to collect a percentage of their treats to give to child who can’t walk the neighborhood.
Maybe someone you know would find joy in worshipping God by hosting a candy exchange where kids can learn to glorify God with their eating by trading some of their sugary delicacies for delicious healthy options.
The sky is the limit for any God-worshipping, people-loving Christian who wants to find a way to redeem Halloween by pointing people’s minds to the God Who wants to have a relationship with us and — consequently — rescue us from sin and its consequences.
In the end, a party — whether a personal family gathering or a community event hosted by a church or a class party — is always a good idea. Just make sure you take time to guide people in their thinking. You don’t necessarily need to “do” something that looks or feels “religious.” The key is not to substitute one kind of superficial self-worship for another.
The goal should be to make conversations about God natural and normal. On Halloween you have many natural opportunities to share with people that you’re not as fearful about life as you once were because of your relationship with God. And then you can give that comment feet by giving a personal example.
For me, I can say that I used to fear what people thought of me, but I’m thankful that He’s been teaching me that my identity is found only in Him. I only need to ever please Him. I don’t have to be afraid of what everyone else is thinking as long as He finds joy in me.
You see where I’m going with this? No normal, average, regular conversation on Halloween is going to intentionally glorify God and celebrate His goodness. You need to work at it.
And the more we do this the more we’ll find that it comes easier, the more we’ll experience a closer and closer relationship with the Lord, the more His will will take preeminence in my life, and the more other people will be drawn to God because of their relationship with us.
I know some of you may still be leery of trying to celebrate God during the typical Halloween events. I understand. But even if you choose not to participate in anything Halloweeny, you still must celebrate God. You still need to worship Him with every moment of October 31st.
Please don’t reject Halloween, but — instead — find some other way of feeding your own desires. Make the day about Him. Whether you choose to observe the day or not, make sure you do it in faith — believing that God is truly glorified by your worship.
I know this is a big question on Christian’s minds this year, so please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so more people can learn to celebrate God on Halloween.
And join us next time when we discover how to make God the focus of a Veteran’s Day celebration.
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The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.