Call me a halloweiner if you want, but I’m not much of a Halloweener. Nor am I into horror films. The closest I’ve gotten has probably been “28 Days Later,” which my friend tells me isn’t really a zombie movie. (OK, I saw “Zombieland” too, but I didn’t pay to see it.) And so I don’t particularly get the cultural attraction of zombies and vampires and what-not.
I have mixed emotions about Halloween. On the one hand, I don’t have any particular grudges against it. I’m all for kids getting free candy. (Probably because I don’t have any kids of my own.) I’m all for kids dressing up as things they’ll never be, especially if it’s cute. (Except for hobos. Those kids have got to get more creative.) I don’t even have a problem with adults dressing up for a night, especially if it’s creative. (Any woman who shows up to a Halloween party dressed as a slutty nurse ought to be sent home.)
On the other hand, I do begrudge the core of Halloween. This is a day that, in some fashion, celebrates death. Elementary school teachers hang skeletons in their classrooms. Our neighbors erect fake gravestones in their front yards. People do dress up as all sorts of frightening things, including the un-dead.
And yet, I personally profess a faith that believes in a Creator who is passionate about life, who created life in the first place, and whose sworn enemy is death. Many cultures throughout the world may justify or rationalize death, calling it necessary in the “life cycle” (odd that death would be a significant part of such a concept). But the Christian God (and indeed the Jewish God) has never flirted with the notion that death (or anything that contributes toward death) was somehow a good or even important part of the created order. Rather, to God, death is the very signature of disorder.
How fortunate we are to have a God who loves His creation so deeply that He would go to such great lengths to defeat it. How glorious it is that we have this faith, at the very center of which is the story of the quintessential man died but then raised to new life by this holy Creator. Indeed, that resurrection is simultaneously a promise to every one who believes it, who trusts in this Creator, that she too will be rescued from death, and ultimately raised in an imperishable body.
It is at times like Halloween, when our culture anoints the dark side of our fallen state, when we ought to pause and remember that death and all its friends have been defeated. Death has been undone.