I love Halloween. Always have. I know there are many who dislike Halloween or are concerned about its themes, but for me it's always been about costumes and candy. When I was a kid in the '70s, the costumes were nowhere near as cool as they are today. They were basically cheap fabric and a cheap plastic mask. Now costumes are very sophisticated; one can easily cost $100 or more. Yikes.

The most fun costumes were those we made at home. When James was little, Christy made him a Woody costume from Toy Story. When I was in college, I went to a party dressed as a tree-I bought a body suit, covered it in pieces of masking tape all over, and coated them with brown shoe polish. A wreath of branches around my head. I could not bend my knees or elbows. I thought it was pretty cool. No one else did. Then again, my buddy went to the party as a vampire bunny. The tree was better.

I love the whole idea of "dress up," Halloween or not. It can be lots of fun to be somebody else, to live a different life, to do, think, and act as anyone we can imagine. I'd argue the Bible even encourages dress up: "As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves in with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12); "Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand up against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:12); " Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit..." (Luke 12:35). Were those texts taken out of context? Yes. Was it fun? Yup. That's the point. Halloween is fun, and it can also be scary. To this day I cannot watch the original Halloween from 1978. Kids today think it is cheesy. Not to me!

All this talk of fun and scary stuff is relevant not just for tomorrow night, but for Sunday, as we begin a new sermon series from the Book of Revelation. Revelation (not "Revelations") is both fun and scary, and lots more. It is a book that has fascinated people from the very beginning-- its themes and images can be frightening and inspiring. Because of its style we are attracted to it like moths to light; yet it is also very frustrating. For nearly 2000 years people have tried to crack its codes, understand its puzzles, find the real meaning. It has been used as a forecast for things to happen-- people have tried to marry current events to John's visions-- in hope of something BIG happening. And those same people are still waiting, anticipating.

I do not promise to solve any mysteries or answer everyone's questions in the series. We will offer a companion study Sunday evenings at 6:00-- bring all of your thoughts and interpretations! But let's not be so quick to get everything solved over the next eight Sundays. After Halloween is over we'll put away the costumes, turn off the imagination and pretending, and just be our normal, everyday selves. Not that exciting. Let's not do that with Revelation. Let's keep that mystery, humor, fear, and excitement there, knowing we can always go back for more.


Bill Remington said…
My fondest memory of Halloween was when I dressed up as a blind Venetian by draping a full venetian blind over me with my head sticking out. People would say "what are you suppose to be?" and I would say "I am a blind Venetian." No it was not my idea!