Grace For The Journey
I am not a supporter of “celebrating” Halloween. This observance is firmly rooted in pagan tradition and continues to rise in popularity as a festival of the occult. Our church has offered an alternative, called “HarvestFest.” We invited the community to come and celebrate Jesus through games, contests, and candy that included biblical character costumes. More recently we are participating through the outreach ministry of “TrunkNTreat” by providing treats including Gospel tracts and other items for the children. We plan on using signs in the trunk that say, “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus;” “Jesus, Sweetest Name I Know” or “Are You Fall – O – Ween Jesus?”
Back in my childhood, Halloween was little more than carving out pumpkins and a night out trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids. Today it is big business for adults and kids alike, including horror movies, haunted houses, and Halloween parties and celebrations of all shapes and sizes.
Because today is Halloween and likely we will have young, costumed visitors coming to our homes looking for candy, I thought I would write about the “costumes” we adults like to wear year-round. And I’m not talking about the store-bought ones!
The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:1-13 that after they disobeyed God, Adam and Even constructed the first-ever “costumes in the Garden of Eden. When their consciences were seared by their sin, they sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness and shame. And when they heard the sound of God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day, they ran and hid. This is the primary reason we wear our costumes. We like to hide ourselves from the view of others. We don’t want anyone to see what we are really like . . . as if our blemishes are unique to us.
God confronted Adam and Eve in love and not in anger, but instead of confessing their sin and seeking God’s forgiveness, they attempted to shift blame. Adam blamed Eve and God Himself (“The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit . . .”); Eve blamed the serpent; and we all have been blaming-shifting ever since.
We wear costumes,
Seeking to cover our
Mistakes, shortcomings, and sins
– Which makes it easier
For us to blame others and God
For the predicaments
We find ourselves in.
Wearing costumes allows us
To keep from confronting
The real person
Underneath the mask.
This, of course, is a great comfort for all those who willing seek after satisfying the desires of the flesh rather than the Spirit.
So . . . what costumes have you been wearing lately? What would happen if you took yours off?
The Gospel frees us to step out of our costumes, because – regardless of what others think of us – God’s love is as unchanging as it is unconditional.
Costumes enslave us;
The Gospel frees us.
Costumes blind to the glories of His kingdom;
The Gospel opens our eyes to see with the eyes of faith.
The Gospel liberates us from the need to hide
And when we are found out It rids us of the need to blame.
Jesus died to set the captives free, and in Christ we are free indeed to be exactly what we are: great sinners in need of an even greater Savior.
As fallen, sinful people
Living in a broken, sin-filled world,
We can step out of every costume
We wear for creaturely comfort,
Because the only true source of comfort
Is found in Christ.
What costume will you wear today? Why not rest is the reality of being clothed in the righteousness of Christ? With His robe of righteousness wrapped tightly around you, what else could you possibly need?
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”