day of the dead
The statistics are everywhere: Americans will spend 8 billion dollars celebrating Halloween this year, with the average person spending $75 on decorations, candy, and costumes.
When I first read these statistics, my mind filled to overflowing with holier-than-thou thoughts like, “What are people thinking? How can they spend money on cobwebs and giant spiders when over 800 million people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight? How can people justify dressing up their dogs as vampires when poor nutrition will cause the deaths of over 3 million children this year alone?”
Then, a few days later, I walked into the World Market and the shelves were full of “Day of the Dead” decorations - ornate skulls, colorful masks, intricately cut flags - how could I resist? I loaded up my cart, dropped $65 on decorations alone, and thought nothing of the 49 million Americans living in food insecure households - 16 million of them children, better head to Costco for some candy!
All this makes me think of Jesus’ story of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-34. In this parable, Jesus presents the crowd and the reader with some of his most radical teachings about money, self-protection, and the accumulation of halloween decorations. The rich fool, who now has to go to the Container Store to buy new storage bins for all her “Day of the Dead” stuff, has become deaf to the ravens who continue to caw about relying on God’s goodness and grace.
So, this Halloween, I’m going give out candy with wild abandon as a means to an end.
This Halloween, I’m going to light my “Day of the Dead” candles while confessing my sins and then I’m going to recommit myself to following Jesus along the way of living more simply, giving more away, and storing up treasure in heaven “where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” + Luke 12: 33-34
So, tell us, how are you feeling about Hallween? Are you spending money like water? Or, are you a spend-thrift? Are you using this holiday to think about "giving to everyone who begs of you?" Or, are you just grabbing your pillow case and heading out for a good time had by all?
Let us know in the comments below...
Thanks to JenPeth for this yummy "Day of the Dead" cookie photo!