I was recently asked to write a post on Halloween and Christianity for the good folks over at the Institute for Christian Psychology. I don’t have a ton of background in psychology, myself, except for frequently dealing with low-grade depression and experiencing seasonal depression every winter. Still, because of this, the truths that Halloween and All Saints Day tell us are, I believe, quite relevant, so I’m glad to offer this contribution. Here’s an excerpt:
As the crisp autumn air arrives, pumpkins, candy, and creepy costumes fill the stores and remind us that Halloween is approaching. The excitement is palpable as plywood ghosts and gravestones litter the lawns of otherwise normal neighborhoods. Amidst this macabre merrymaking, dying leaves glow gold as they fall to the earth and decaying grasses dance with chimney smoke to make what Dr. Seuss once called a “sour-sweet wind,” reminding us that, even in its beauty, this world is broken and enduring death.
For many of us, the gradual disappearance of daylight during this season brings about a darkness scarier than any spooky story fit for the season: the kind which troubles our very mind and soul. As daytime shortens, our ensuing depression causes us a struggle to function or to find any joy in our relationships, even with God. It is far easier to rest on instant gratification than to pursue holiness, to engage in escapism rather than worship. Perhaps this is why it is appropriate that Halloween falls at the cusp of such a season.
Read the rest at the ICP blog here.
(Cover photo sourced from the original article.)