Tomorrow night marks the one celebration that traditionally brings neighbors together to celebrate as a community. Yes, we all grumble about early Christmas decorations and wish each other Happy New Year at parties, but Halloween is the one where you go out and meet your neighbors and share in a communal love of the macabre and candy and making little kids smile.
Some of the mega-churches view this holiday as a marketing exercise. They trade on low-trust fears of non-existent “poison candy” to convince members to skip the community celebration and retreat behind the walls of their church. They ask people to close their doors and find an insular community away from home rather than reach over the fence to celebrate with their literal neighbors – a mistake that only encourages distant and infrequent relationships and tribalism over immediate and everyday ones.
Even if you forget that the point of Halloween is mocking the devil and all his works and preparing for the next day’s efforts to help souls escape purgatory and earn a ticket through the pearly gates – which you shouldn’t – even if you treat Halloween as a purely secular holiday, remember that building communities begins at home. Make this year a happy one by meeting your literal neighbors, and celebrating as one community.
You can’t tell me Jesus would frown on that sort of loving your neighbor.