October 31, 2012
Trick or Treat? What does that really mean? As a kid, I never really understood what that actually meant. I was the one saying “trick or treat”, but was I asking them whether they wanted a trick or a treat from me? Was I asking the house owner to choose whether they would trick me or give me candy? Was I offering to perform a trick for them so they would give me a treat based on how good my trick was? Was I to do a trick for my treat, like a dog? Who really was supposed to be doing the trick? Was I supposed to give them a treat from my bag if they didn’t like my trick? I hoped I was the one getting a treat, but why was I asking the adult, “Trick or Treat?”
As I went from house to house, in my pursuit of the perfect blend of Reese’s, Sweet-Tarts, real coins, a big candy bar, or the best house of them all, put in my hand and choose for myself, 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 were happening. Confusing!
Halloween is about 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 are longing for. Or like Charlie Brown’s letdown when he realizes, “I got a rock.” Isn’t this just like Satan’s plan? In the real story, God wants us to come with no costume, no hiding behind a mask, just baring our soul to Him. We don’t have to be nervous about a trick or treat, or who is doing which one. We don’t need to be frightened as we approach His door. In fact, He comes to our door.
God isn’t a stranger we only see once a year, but our loving and dear Father and close friend who loves us more than anything. God has all the real treats. And they are the big whopper sizes that we salivate over just hearing about them.
Best of all, our hearts aren’t filled with cheap imitations of the real treat. We are getting the King of Kings to come into our heart, our lives, and 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 and physical torture, then endured judgment for our sin and separation from His Father, then died on the cross so you can enjoy all the treats His Father, your Father, can infinitely give you above and beyond your heart’s desires.
Today, Halloween is controversial for Christians. But as you think back on past Halloweens, or 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, and gives you everday. 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 who needs this treat and show them how to go “trick or treating” for all the marbles. A cheap candy bar or the real TREAT, what you settle for 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 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 said, – 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