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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Halloween

I've just got home from giving a Halloween-themed assembly.  No, I wasn't dressed as a witch or a pumpkin - I took in a bag of things that produce light and talked about how almost every culture throughout time has had a celebration involving light around this time of year.  Some of the children were able to work out why that might be, and then we talked about Jesus saying "I am the light of the world".

In the many and varied discussions going on in the Book of Face at the moment, I have mentioned that last year we went meet-and-treating, giving out heart-shaped biscuits and little messages to the trick-or-treaters we bumped into in the village.  Some people have asked me for a copy of what the messages actually said; I can't find the originals anywhere, but I do remember the gist of them, so I thought I'd rewrite two alternatives in case people find them helpful this year.  The first is for giving out heart-shaped biscuits or sweets, the second is for the healthy alternative of electric candles, glo-sticks or torches.


Hearts:
Nobody really knows where the festival of Halloween originated.  The name comes from All Hallow's Eve, marking a time in the Christian church when we remember saints and loved ones who have died, but the traditions that take place come from much earlier pre-Christian times.  In fact if you look at almost any culture in any time, you'll find that as the nights get longer, a festival takes place with traditions intended to ward off darkness and evil.  It's humanity's way of dealing with darkness, death and the things that frighten us as we go into the long winter.
In our family, we like to use Halloween to remember that as Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ has already dealt with darkness and death by dying and rising again.  In the Bible it says that "Perfect love casts out all fear" (1 John 4:18) so this year, we're giving out heart-shaped sweets to remind us that when we know we are loved by Jesus, there's no need to fear the darkness.
We hope you enjoy the treats, and have a safe and fun Halloween!


Torches:
Nobody really knows where the festival of Halloween originated.  The name comes from All Hallow's Eve, marking a time in the Christian church when we remember saints and loved ones who have died, but the traditions that take place come from much earlier pre-Christian times.  In fact if you look at almost any culture in any time, you'll find that as the nights get longer, a festival takes place which involves light, intended to ward off darkness and evil.  That's where Jack-O-Lanterns come from, for example.  It's humanity's way of dealing with darkness, death and the things that frighten us as we go into the long winter.
In our family, we remember at Halloween that Jesus said "I am the light of the world".  He has already conquered darkness and death by dying and rising again.  This year, we're giving out Glo-sticks/torches to light your way and to remind you that Jesus has beaten the darkness!
We hope you enjoy your treats, and have a safe and fun Halloween!


I hope someone finds these helpful - and at least I'll now be able to find them again next year!

2 comments:

Chris Oldfield said...

hey amy this is brill! have you seen this little vid? http://vimeo.com/75045602 it's by my friend glen, thought you'd like the poetry :)
ps cool to see you still enjoying being called a(me)
x Chris

A(me) said...

Chris, that is splendid! Hope he doesn't mind if I share. Great to hear from you!
A(me)xx