October 31, 2019
Trick or Treat, for All the Marbles
Trick or Treat? What is that really? As a kid, I never really understood what it actually meant. I was the one asking “trick or treat.” But was I asking them whether they wanted a trick or a treat from me? Was I asking the homeowners whether they would trick me or give me candy? Was I to perform a trick for my treat, like a dog? Was I supposed to give them a treat from my bag if they didn’t like my trick? I hoped I would get a treat. But why was I saying, “Trick or Treat?”
As I went from house to house in my pursuit of a stash of Reese’s, Sweet-Tarts, real coins, or a big candy bar, were they giving me a choice to accept a trick or treat from them? Nobody could ever explain it to me. It seemed like the person answering the door was giving me a treat and no tricks ever happened. The adult world is so confusing to kids!
Halloween is about costumes – sometimes elaborate ones – but essentially pretending to be someone you’re not. Then a stranger gives you a small “fun” size treat, a cheap imitation of the real king size candy bar you really want. Remember Charlie Brown’s letdown when he realizes, “I got a rock.” Isn’t this just like Satan’s plan? But in the real story, God wants you to come without a costume, without hiding behind a mask, simply baring your soul to Him. You don’t have to be nervous about a trick or a treat, or who is doing which one. You don’t need to be frightened as you approach His door. In fact, He comes and knocks on your door.
God isn’t a stranger we see only once a year, but a dear, loving Father and close friend who loves us more than anything. God has all the real treats. They are bigger than full-size and they satisfy every craving and desire. No tricks from us, just straight up honesty. Be yourself, admit who you are, bare your soul, open your heart.
Best of all, there’s no cheap imitation. The King of Kings comes into our hearts and our lives, sharing His royal inheritance. All He has is ours. The best part of the real story is the cost … it requires no trick from us. In fact, Jesus did the ultimate trick. He endured humiliation, physical torture, judgment for our sin, and separation from His Father. He died on the cross so you can enjoy all the treats His Father, your Father, offers – way beyond your heart’s imagination and desires.
Nowadays, Halloween is controversial for many Christians. But as you think back on past Halloweens, take your kids around for fun and candy, or give out candy to other excited kids, be thankful for the treat your Father gave you. Express some real gratitude to God and be gleeful, just like a child finding a dream candy bar in his bag. Also, take time to think of those who need this treat and show them how to go real “trick or treating” – for all the marbles. Whether you settle for a cheap gone-in-one-bite candy bar or you go all in for the real everlasting TREAT is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, You are so amazing. I am so glad I don’t have to pretend to be someone else with You. Just as I am, You shower me with so many blessings and the ultimate treat. Help me see and appreciate the many treats You bring into my life everyday, treats that I often overlook, take for granted, or feel entitled to. Give me the courage to share with others the treats You have for them, too. I pray in the name of the grandest gift, Christ Jesus, and all God’s children say – AMEN!
He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1