Creating a culture of heaven in the midst of holidays that don’t reflect the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is not really that difficult. Traditions can be the route families take to express, in tangible ways, the powerful reverberations of the promises of God in our lives. God is real and faith is the vehicle for accessing the reality of heaven on earth. This message is my greatest passion. Traditions can either strengthen or weaken the impact of faith on our physical experience.
I learned about the value of creating traditions to illustrate faith over the years from my husband Dan, who was determined to create a reality of heaven for our kids on Halloween by celebrating All Saints Day instead. He packed our formally set dining room table, majestic with our best table cloth, china, wine glasses, silverware and flowers, and side tables with an impressive, colorful, rich feast reflective of the wedding feast God has prepared for the bride of Christ.
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
9 And the angel said[a] to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
And he brought out paper crowns with glue, glitter, gems and colorful markers to decorate and wear while racing around the back yard to remind us of the truth that we are all running the path marked out for us in the upward call of Jesus Christ.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
The kids who came to our door on Halloween looked like they would much rather come in than go on to the next house.
I confess, this tradition was Dan’s conviction mostly and I was not completely supportive of it. I had fond memories of Halloween in the Santa Ana winds with a pillowcase filled with candy and a neighbor across the street who created an experience we looked forward to every year.
But Dan grew up in SF during the time Anton LaVey, author of The Satanic Bible, who also lived there and whose daughter later came to freedom in Jesus and sought protection for her life from her dads followers who were seeking her whereabouts to kill her because she knew too much. Inexplicably, her father died at the same time christians gathered with her in prayer to break the curse of death that had ritually been put on her when she was a witch, should she ever leave the group.
I was happy Dan created such a rich tradition of faith but felt the protest our kids made about not trick or treating. Eventually they did do a bit of the latter as they got older. In the end, they decided they had the better celebration at home.
Recently I came across a testimony that reveals the incredible power of God to restore lives that have been deeply burdened by the practice of witchcraft. I encourage you to click on the title to go to the post:
What most people know as a fun time of imagination and creativity, is specifically designated by practicers of witchcraft as a date to abuse and even kill children in order to activate spiritual advancement they believe is most easily available on Halloween. I know that celebrating Halloween does not mean to most parents that they are agreeing with what testimonies like this illustrate. But her testimony reminds me that what we apply our agreement to through our participation has spiritual impact. When we partner with the celebration of death and darkness, even just in fun, we give the authority of our agreement, which does make it easier for darkness to move freely. It surprises me that this hasn’t occurred to me before in regards to Halloween. I feel that the familiarity of what we grow to love as a child can delay us from applying the wisdom of what we learn about God and the power he has appointed us through agreement.
The most amazing take away from reading this woman’s testimony is the power of God to reveal love to anyone who has been lured into the practice of witchcraft. She says, “Jesus has been absolutely central in my finding freedom, redemption and healing from my pain and my own personal hell. He has shown me a love like I have never known before in my entire life. He has shown me that His love is something that is pure and untainted, and that I am indeed special and valuable to God. Even more so, that I am wanted and precious in God’s eyes. How amazing is that. Once I had a taste of that love, I had to have more. That is what has led me to healing. Wanting more of Jesus Christ and His all-consuming love.”
I find I am at this time, more than ever, excited to find ways to invite people in to experience a taste of this love. Death is celebrated by Halloween, even glorified. I’m feeling excited to brainstorm creative ways to highlight light and love and the defeat of death in my front yard this Halloween and carry the baton my husband began when the kids were small into the time when, though we no longer have small kids at home, we can be father and mother to the kids that come to our door, planting seeds of wonder at life and light that is more powerful and fun and delightful than any celebration of death. If you find yourself excited about that too; please do share 🙂 We have the creator of the universe as our father and breaking chains of darkness is His idea :)!!!!!