This year for our ‘alternative to Hallowe’en’ event we ran our second LIGHT CAFE which was a huge success again thanks to the lovely families who made an effort to come along and also to fantastic volunteers from within the church who gave their time (and cakes) to help it all run smoothly!
‘Trick or treating’, for whatever reason, is big business in the streets around our church and so it was pointless to put on an event to rival that, instead we set about to run an event that complimented it, so that children and families already out and about could come in to the church and take part in the fun activities before going back out again. Probably about 20% of the visitors were doing that, the rest seemed to just want to come along to our event!
The bouncy castle is always a big draw as it’s not something that can be set up at home and it was a busy corner of the hall all evening. The craft activities were also popular, as were the cakes… I’d set up a ‘treasure hunt’ on posters around the room but really only a few of my regular church children attempted it. As each child left we gave them some ‘treats’ – a ‘Jesus is the Light of the World’ wristband, a glow-stick wristband and, my personal favourite, a glow-in-the-dark plastic cross necklace.
The thought of a whole group of children going out from church into the dark autumn evening wearing a glowing cross around their necks and over their dark costumes was an opportunity too good to pass up and these little gifts were popular.
Walking home after the event there was a more sinister vibe around the place than the previous year. How little people realise about the ‘dark side’ of witches, wizards and all of that. It’s portrayed as a bit of fun but in reality it is much more evil than we might think it is. If God says it’s bad, then it’s bad. This is what we learn from Deuteronomy 18 v 9-11 and the writer doesn’t mince his words:
9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”
It’s all very real and it’s all very nasty, despite the glossy overtones and superficial ‘niceties’ of dressing up for Hallowe’en.
Yet, where the darkness is dark, the Light of Christ shines even brighter. We shouldn’t be afraid of all this witchcraft, we should be walking in the Light so that people can see an alternative and better way. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. Because Jesus died for us, he defeated the devil and made a way for us to have a relationship with our Father in heaven and live free from all the trappings of the darkness. And Jesus also gave us authority over the darkness just before he ascended to heaven so that when we stand in faith, in Jesus’ name and his power through the Holy Spirit living in us, great things happen.
I’m bored of seeing ‘magicians’ on the television as they ‘wow’ people with their reading of minds and all that stuff. Put the real stuff on there instead! I want to see the people who have prayed for the sick to be healed, the dead to be raised, the legs to grow longer and all the rest. Put that on the television and people might start to realise that this following Jesus thing is so much more amazing than any ‘mind-controlling’…. Let’s give the real miracles some air-time!!
Back to the awesome glow-in-the-dark crosses.
One of my Jesus Crew kids turned up at the following Sunday service proudly wearing his cross still and eagerly rushed up to me after the service to tell me that every night he puts the cross on his pillow when he goes to bed and then if he wakes up in the night he sees it glowing and he knows that Jesus is there protecting him! 🙂 Maybe we all need to get one of these…