Sunday, October 30, 2011

Father, Hallow Your Name This Halloween......

"Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done."

Years ago, I started praying the first line of the Lord's prayer for various occasions. I by no means remember to do it all the time, but it has become a regular practice. The kids will hear me pray before bed, "Father, glorify your name through our family." On the way to various events, I'll pray specifically that God will use my kid to honor Him. I have found it to be the most powerful sentence I've ever uttered, and one in which God always responds with "will do".

This year, my husband can't be with me and the kids for Halloween, so I filled the week with complaints (complaining and cynicism come so naturally for me). But then I asked the Lord to help me be creative (creativity only comes supernaturally for me). "Father, glorify your name in Halloween. Use us to bring honor to you." The Lord brought to mind that there are other people who are lonely every Halloween. There are widows in nursing homes and shut-ins in isolated houses who remember their childhood days but have no children to currently celebrate with. So tomorrow, the kids (in their cute little costumes) and I will be taking little gifts to some lonely elderly people. We'll go to a nursing home, and also visit some of the wonderful, aging people who watched me grow-up--people who are part of my spiritual heritage and have never met my kids.

I think when it comes to holidays and special events, God is all about redeeming them. No matter how the customs originated or why certain people celebrate certain things, as a Christian I have the freedom to celebrate Christ on any day that He has given me. My family's practices for Halloween (or any holiday) are aligned with Colossians 3:16-17, "Therefore, let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ."

The way I see it, on any given Halloween, you've got 5 options. You can be:
1) scary
2) slutty
3) seclusive
4) sanctifying
5) serving
You can pick for yourself the ones not fitting for Christians.

Tomorrow, my family will be doing # 5. Tonight I watched a very special friend do # 4. If you've known me for any length of time, you've heard me talk about Sabrina. Her husband died a year ago, and she is left alone to raise a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl. At her Halloween party tonight, friends gathered around her living room. Sabrina stood in the circle and expressed her greatest desire--that God would use her and her little family to produce spiritual fruit in which they could be useful to others. She passed oil around and asked us all to annoint her house and set it apart for the Lord's will. She prayed (oh I love to hear that woman pray) and then several adults scattered around the house praying individually.

It was a very emotional experience for me. I prayed that God would bring laughter and discipleship at Sabrina's couch. I prayed that God would use her fridge to nourish her body and that her kitchen would provide spiritual nourishment to all who entered it. I prayed at her bedpost that God would give her rest. I prayed at her desk (a place with pen and paper and computer), that God would send His Spirit upon her as she wrote. She's an incredible writer who has been bringing glory to God for years through that talent. Of course, these petitions are things God has already done and is doing and will continue to do.

On October 30, 2011 I had the privilege of watching a woman dressed like this.......

View photo.jpg in slide show
make a worship event out of a party. With the curls of her big blonde wig bouncing as she spoke, Sabrina stood in the middle of her peers and testified about God's faithfulness. She used a celebration to put Christ right in the center.

And so after tonight, though many may disagree, I'm convinced that God has always been, is, and will continue to hallow his name at Halloween.

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