Friday, October 22, 2010

Perspectives From the Field: Hollow Jesus

When you ask any kid , “what do you think Halloween represents,” 9 out 10 will say, “CANDY , CANDY and more CANDY.” I really doubt they would say “Well, Mr. Williams, to me Halloween stands for a holiday observed on October 31, and it has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and it is also related to the Christian All Saints’ Day . The truth, is Halloween has become whatever you want to it to be. My brother is a pastor at a local Baptist Church here in Emporia, and they do a festivity called Hollow Jesus. They have games and all types of food and their main focus is on Jesus.

I know if I came to our youth group and told the kids that we were going to have a lesson on Halloween without discussing candy, costumes, or parties they would look at me as if I had lost my mind. I would hear statements like, “Mr. Williams, isn’t that what Halloween is all about?”

The foundation of what we do is Christ and as teachers and leaders we know this. Our job is to share it with our young folks in a manner that will not tear their thoughts or beliefs down. Too many times I hear some of our Religious leaders say: “Look at them kids and parents going out for Halloween to get candy and dress up like Satan. They all are going to Hell!” I am telling you the truth. I have heard some of church leaders say that. Truth be told, if some of our young people hear that they would think that the person who said it was crazy and we would have lost them. I think one of the better things to do is to replace some of the secular topics with Christian activities, like my brother does at his church. We all need some of that "Hollow Jesus."

by Earl Williams
Youth Director and Safe & Sacred Space Trainer
Grace United Methodist Church, Emporia, KS
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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