Few things in the world delight God more than community between people. Community is the greatest way in which a person can begin and sustain a relationship of love. Jesus placed a great deal of hope in the power of relationships. This is the power of the incarnation, that God would speak to us through other people. He said that the world would know God by the way his loved each other. And, that the Church would be known as the body of Christ. Their relationships with God and with each other revealed the image of God to the world (Though obviously there are personal (interventions) and natural revelations (creation) ). The study of Jewish culture reveals that everything is based upon the community in which you are raised in. Your identity is found within it. The great spiritual teacher Jean Vanier teaches that three things build community: 1. People praying with one another. 2. People eating with each other. 3. People celebrating occasions in each others’ presence.
There is a certain spiritual abuse that happens when people over-idealize the separation from the world. There is far greater damage done by celebrating a political candidate’s victory in the name of God than by having a Halloween party. There is a certain logical trust that if you let your kids go trick-or-treating then most likely, they won’t be participating in some form of dehumanizing witchcraft when they get older. Hopefully, we can take the celebration of Halloween as a sign to build deeper relationships with our children, our friends, or the neighbors we hand candy out to. Just because Halloween doesn’t offer some apparent spiritual virtue to our lives doesn’t mean we should dismiss it (otherwise, why would we celebrate Thanksgiving, or Mothers/Fathers day?). Halloween should be a day, like every other day, where we can learn to celebrate one another. On this day, we can just celebrate the personal quirkiness and eccentric choices over others’ apparel.