Halloween candy and costumes fill the stores, and my multimedia world is full of email and snail mail notices of vitally important decorating tips for the seasonal romp coming up. Two days ago my older daughter even sent me a picture of her two boxers in their "costumes," poor things.
Then today in my Morning Prayer, I came to a small passage from Romans that put the whole season into perspective: "...put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14). This is in the midst of Paul's teaching to the young Christian Church: "Wake up!" He tells them, "Live properly as becomes children of the light."
And what would it mean to "put on Jesus"? To be in his costume, in his likeness? We see this throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John--but Jesus boiled it down for us in the Great Commandment of loving God and our neighbor then spelled out our love for neighbor in Matthew 25: Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Welcome the stranger; Clothe the naked; Care for the sick; Visit the imprisoned. If we walk around as Jesus, we will convince others (and ourselves) that we are sincere by walking in these footsteps.
But wait, isn't Halloween supposed to be about being scary and frightened? Sure it is. That's what Wal-Mart and Target tell us. But life is about living in the light. That what Jesus and Paul tell us. They probably should carry more weigh with us year round.
So maybe after the department store costumes are thrown away, we can remember to keep Jesus on permanently. I know I'm certainly going to continue to do my best.