From Halloween Candy to Youth Ministries

From halloween candy to Bible Study: the fifth testimony.
I grew up in the country; trick or treating is not an easy task and requires driving from house to house. In elementary school there was a Fall festival. People would dress up to attend; there was a haunted house, bobbing for apples, and other games. You could win prizes, and of course, there was candy. Once we moved into middle school, we lost the right to attend the Fall festival at the elementary school, but we didn't lose our desire for candy or fun. As we sat around trying to figure out what we would do while the rest of the world was out celebrating Halloween, God was sitting around making a plan too.

Halloween is definitely not a holiday sanctioned by God. The holiday's origin stems from the Celtic day known as Samhain, on which it was believed that ghosts were free to roam the Earth. Eventually, the Catholic Church created a holiday to honor their dead saints, known as All Saints Day, on November 1. It was followed by All Souls Day (on November 2) which came to replace Samhain in Celtic lands after their conversion to Catholicism. The night before All Saints Day (October 31) was known as All Hallows Eve, which then became Halloween[1]. The holiday has always had ties to sorcery, witchcraft, divination, and talking with the dead—all of which are forbidden in the Bible.

10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV
A simple bowl of candy is enough to get a child excited about the holiday—the candy company knows that all too well. Combine that with children's movies such as Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown, and we couldn't wait for Halloween.

God moved my older cousin to plan an alternate festival for us. We could hang out, play board games, and get lots of candy. Since Halloween fell on a Wednesday, which was the same night as prayer meeting, all of our parents would be at the church, so why not bring us along? We attended the first portion of prayer meeting, then retreated to the fellowship hall to enjoy our candy. I'm not sure if it occurred to my cousin before or after the pseudo-halloween party, but there was no reason for us tweens not to attend every prayer meeting. What would we be doing otherwise, anyway? How many of us would have been home alone, left to get into who knows what mischief? Or polluting our minds with useless TV shows? So, she began Youth Ministries, a Wednesday night Bible study for the tweens and teens that attended the church (and any friends we decided to bring along).

My cousins and I asked for candy and the opportunity to celebrate a pagan holiday, God gave us a place to study His Word as it related to us. Before Youth Ministries, I never thought about opening a Bible and just reading it for myself. We had always learned our lessons from the little booklets in Sunday school, but no one asked us what we wanted to learn. We had never read passages from the Bible and simply discussed it without sticking to the booklet outline before. No one told us to read certain chapters for the next week the way teachers told us to study for exams, either. Not only did I now have an open outlet to ask all those questions no one wanted to answer, but I learned I could always pick up a Bible (my cousin made sure we each received one) and search for the answer myself.

References

  1. A&E Television Networks. "History of Halloween". History.com. 2015

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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