Celebrating a Season of Thanks

After reveling in a season of gore?

There is a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me in the fall. Every year starting November 1st, immediately after dressing in some of the scariest, most demonic costumes possible, our culture does an about face. We switch from this celebration of ghosts and goblins and deluge of horror-films, and move immediately into a grateful state of thanks.

It’s so confusing. lol

Do we love the gore, or the thankful, grateful family gatherings?

Honestly, it used to really bother me. I couldn’t understand how we could so quickly make this 180 degree, Evil-to-Good shift and still consider ourselves truthful and authentic. I know for most people, it’s not this black and white, and it’s not as “serious” of an issue. I mean, I get it. The cute little costumes on the kiddos are adorable and all, but the more scary stuff when the adults really take it to an extreme is really what became an issue that I had a hard time making sense of.

That was, until this morning. (Though, in full disclosure I will still never understand the degree of costume transformation some people will go to in celebration of Halloween. But that’s just one of my little weird-o type things. 🙂 )

The Chat

On my way back from dropping off the youngest kiddo at school, my husband and I were discussing the Halloween season. We drove past a home whose decorations were still waiting for “the switch”. It was all decked out, and even had orange and white “cobwebs” over it. The house looked quite Halloween-y to be sure!

But truthfully, that doesn’t make sense to me, either. Why would someone want to spend hours messing up a clean house only to have to spend more time taking down what we try to keep away in the first place?! But I digress . . .

Our conversation turned to this fascination with death, and the historic elements of Halloween and All Hallow’s Eve, and even some of the strange “fun” prank traditions that used to accompany this season. Fun fact: did you know that in Scotland, they used to “read” kale as a way to predict their future spouse?! HA!

And through this discussion about the celebration of death, the Holy Spirit nudged me just a bit.

What if this season transition of Halloween to November 1st is an incredible picture of redemption in our lives?

I know – it’s a little crazy. But hear me out.

The Night

We all know what Halloween is, and what most people do. If we don’t go to adult dress-up parties, we’ll dress up our little hooligans for the evening and take them trick-or-treating, or to a Fall Festival.

Halloween, then, acknowledges the self-indulgent, self-serving nature that is present in our “human-ness”. We dress up – drawing attention to ourselves. Making ourselves as gross – or our kids as adorable – as possible. We go door to door with our kids, letting them fill their bags and buckets with candy and treats for themselves, although sometimes parents will teach the kiddos to share. Get as much as you can – fill your bag as fully as possible. And then gorge out on the abundance of the loot.

Now, I’m not poo-pooing Hallowing or saying people should entirely forego these fall activities. We had a fall festival at our church and it was a blast. Lots of kids have a great time with the festivities, and often attend safe and organized neighborhood or local-area festivities. Plus, it’s a great way to teach bravery and courage in a controlled setting as you go trick-or-treating in the neighborhoods with your kids.

But there is a deeper symbolism that we shouldn’t miss so that we can learn to grow in our awareness of these “traditional” worldly events and your own view your daily life and actions in the perspective of eternity.

This entire night of Halloween is representative of human nature in the fullness of sin. It is out for itself – self-preservation, self-indulgent, self-focused. We dress up for ourselves (or our kids).

We get as much candy for ourselves as we can. And being held during the evening is symbolic too! While it’s convenient for being a family-friendly activity, night time is a traditional literary symbol for being lost, dead, or unaware. It’s where we get the phrase “in the dark” from. The metaphorical night is when we are dead in our sin, unaware of our sin, and reveling in these destructive self-pleasures.

The Next Morning

But then the next day – November 1st – the scary decorations come down and the Thanksgiving and Harvest decorations go up. It’s a brand new day. A bright new morning. There is a crispness to the fall air that wasn’t felt before – especially in Florida!

There is a season of hope, reflection, and thankfulness as we pause in between the full candy bags of Halloween and the piles of packages beneath the Christmas tree to think back on all that we are grateful for.

And during this in-between season is where we see this idea and symbolism of redemption. It’s a new, fresh start. A brand new day at the rising of the sun.

There is a phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me in the fall. Every year starting November 1st, immediately after dressing in some of the scariest, most demonic costumes possible, our culture does an about face. We switch from this celebration of ghosts and goblins and move immediately into a grateful state of thanks.

It used to really bother me, honestly. I couldn’t understand just how we could so quickly make this East-West, North-South, Evil-Good shift and still consider ourselves truthful and authentic. I know for most people, it’s not this black and white, and it’s not as “serious” of an issue, but it was for me.

Until this morning. (Though, in full disclosure I will still never understand the degree of costume transformation some people will go to in celebration of Halloween. But that’s just one of my little weird-o type things. 🙂 )

On my way back from dropping of the youngest kiddo at school, my husband and I were discussing the Halloween season after driving past a home whose decorations were still waiting for “the switch”. And in realizing the celebration of death, the Holy Spirit nudged me just a bit.

What if this is an incredible picture of redemption in our lives? I know – it’s a little crazy. But hear me out.

The Night

Halloween acknowledges the self-indulgent, self-serving nature that is present in our “human-ness”. We dress up – drawing attention to ourselves. Making ourselves as gross (or adorable) as possible. We go door to door, begging candy and treats for ourselves (although sometimes parents will teach the kiddos to share). Get as much as you can – fill your bag as fully as possible. And then gorge out on the abundance of your harvest.

Now, I’m not poo-pooing Hallowing or saying people should entirely forego these fall activities. Lots of kids have a great time with it, and may attend safe and organized neighborhood or local-area festivities. Plus, it’s a great way to teach bravery and courage in a controlled setting as you go trick-or-treating in the neighborhoods with your kids.

But don’t miss the deeper symbolism so that you can learn to grow in your awareness of these “traditional” worldly events and your own view your daily life and actions in the perspective of eternity.

This entire night of Halloween is representative of human nature in the fullness of sin. It is out for itself – self-preservation, self-indulgent, self-focused. We dress up for ourselves (or our kids). We get as much candy for ourselves. And being held during the evening is symbolic too! Night time is a traditional literary symbol for being lost, dead, or unaware. It’s where we get the phrase “in the dark” from. The night is when we are dead in our sin, unaware of our sin, and reveling in these destructive self-pleasures.

The Next Morning

But then the next day – November 1st – the scary decorations come down and the Thanksgiving and Harvest decorations go up. It’s a brand new day. A bright new morning. There is a crispness to the fall air that wasn’t felt before – especially in Florida! There is a season of hope, reflection, and thankfulness as we pause in between the full candy bags of Halloween and the piles of packages beneath the Christmas tree to think back on all that we are grateful for.

And in this in-between season is where we see this idea and symbolism of redemption. It’s a new, fresh start. A brand new day at the rising of the sun.

And that is exactly what we receive in Christ Jesus.

When we realize and acknowledge our sin and death, our separation from all that is hope, and eternally good – our metaphorical November 1st – we begin to seek out those things.

Looking forward to the bright, new morning.

Awakening with hope as we find our Savior right there waiting for us to turn to Him. And give Him all of ourselves.

He redeems us from all of the “stuff” the night before. And replaces it with a crisp, fresh, rejuvenating new day – a new life that we begin to live for Him as we follow and become more like Him.

It’s this very opportunity that I am so incredibly thankful for. And so incredibly thankful to share these truths to the world. This is how I begin my season of Thankfulness.

Whether you are reading this on the first day of November, or any other time of the year – – –

Pause.

Think: What are you thankful for??

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