The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

October 26, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: The Church has reclaimed Halloween

1 Corinthians 9: 21-23 (NIV): 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Halloween is short for "All Hallows (Holy) Day Evening". In Western (Catholic) society, it began as the evening before a holy day – a holiday to celebrate Christians who have gone to be with the Lord. Worldly influences (including Druids) nearly hijacked it and caused it to become something evil instead of something good. But we never have to think of Halloween as being evil.

It didn't begin that way and it is only evil if we make it so.

The church struggled with this for much of my life, but practicality won the day. Christians realized that Halloween was an opportunity to get people to come to the church.

They could offer fun events and families could come and get loads of candy, have fun, maybe get a chili dog or some other goodie. And churches did this right, with hay rides, fun events for the kids, candy and treats, all in a safe and controlled environment. More treats per minute and a lot less effort than trick-or-treating.

And people did come. Year after year. Now, the church has retaken Halloween.

This is such a wonderful time of year: cooler weather, football, pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, turning leaves. And yes, decorations and costumes. But I've noticed that Halloween is now less and less about horror and more and more about harvest. The church has earned the right to influence the holiday by choosing to embrace it and, like Paul in today’s passage, use it for spreading the Gospel. Halloween is now firmly set as a family holiday. I'm glad Halloween is back where it began and where it belongs.

On a personal note, I will be at Blaser’s Books downtown today during The Hot Pepper Festival autographing copies of my fiction novel, “The Dead Peasants File.” I hope you will come by to see me.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014