(originally posted Nov. 2005)
This year, my wife and I decided we wanted to present more of an inviting atmosphere for Halloween, as well as reclaim October 31st as Reformation Day. We had been thinking of ways to be Christ-like to our neighbors and with the run up to Halloween, we thought rather than becoming recluses, we could at least have a light on and be ready with the candy.
Logistically, however, we did have a slight problem with our condo set up: our entire living area is on the second floor while our front door is on the first. That meant if we were going to hand out candy we would be running up and down the stairs everytime the door bell rang.
My wife was telling a neighbor of our dilemma and he suggested setting out a card table with a bowl of candy and placing a sign informing the trick-or-treaters to help themselves to one or two pieces. My wife wisely asked, "But don't you risk having a group of kids take it all?" "Oh no," replied our confident neighbor, "I did it last year and it was fine; besides, the parents are with them."
So, I carved a pumpkin with my boys (a jolly, happy face, not a sinister, evil face), and my wife made up a sign that read: Happy Reformation Day! Please help yourself to one or two pieces. We set up a small table out by the front door, put a candle in the pumpkin and sat out an assortment of miniature candy bars with the sign.
Maybe 10 minutes later I hear from up in our living room a boy yell out, "Ah man, lookit that!" followed by a chorus of squeals from other children. I looked out the window to see a heavy set mother passing out candy to four or five corpulent 11 year olds. I then hear them bicker back and forth about who was going to get which candy bar and then someone say, "just take another one." Finally, they go marching off with their plunder.
My suspicion was that they looted the entire bowl containing 3 bags of candy bars. Not wishing to doubt my fellow neighbors, but just to make sure, I went down to take a peak at the bowl. Guess What. It was entirely empty! I was stunned and appalled all at once. Do you mean to tell me the Largebottom family took every one of our candies!? Thus ended our Halloween.
At least the truths proclaimed by the Reformation were reaffirmed in a disgusting display of greed, gluttony, and pure selfishness. I got to experience in real life what the Reformers taught us about the nature of men.