“[He] does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44b
In those days it was one of my favorite holidays. Things change…we all get that but back in the day, Halloween was fun, it was candy profitable and we loved it. There were church parties where we all dressed up in costumes. And those costumes weren’t bought in a store…they were made from wherever was handy. We would have hotdogs and chips and there was always a contest for the best costume. Come trick or treat night we would again don our costumes. Mine was invariably a hobo—I just went to dad’s closet and boom—I was ready to go.
One of my favorite things was going to Momma’s cedar chest. It was a magic place where so many cool things were stored. It was filled with once-a-year delights and special treasures. One time my daddy had to make a trip of Ecuador for work. He was a mechanic at the Navy base and one of their planes broke down down in South America. He was selected to make the trip and trust me—it was the trip of a lifetime for him. He bought everyone souvenirs and mine was a poncho and a short bullwhip. They were stored in the cedar chest for safe keeping.
But there was something else in the cedar chest—our trick or treat bags. Momma had made one for each of us out of cloth scraps and in my mind’s eye I can still see them. At the right time, Momma would open the cedar chest and get them out for the special night. Now these are different days but back then as soon as it began to get dusky, we would hit the streets of our neighborhood. It was a wonderful time of innocence—no danger, no dark tricks…we were safe and free, and we would run the streets until the porch lights were all out and our bags were full.
Things are tragically different now. The meaning has changed, the danger is real and well, it’s just not the same. When our daughters were small enough to trick or treat it was still pretty safe, but we would never think of letting them go out by themselves and now, today, certainly not the grandkids. I wish they could have known the Halloween I knew but alas they are gone. Things do in fact change.
Sadly, there is something else that hasn’t changed. The trick part of trick or treat. Back when I was, oh, ten or so, we might, maybe take a bar of soap and soap a window or two but even that was rare and brought a twinge of guilt. But those memories are not what I am thinking about. I am talking about the ultimate, most evil trickster—the devil himself. If you know anything about him you know he is a great deceiver and he loves to lead, or drag, people down a dark path of regret and consequences. It’s who he is and it something he was done since the beginning of time. Just ask Eve and Adam. He promises the best treat—which is a lie—and never tells the rest of the story—the trick. Like he told Eve, “Go ahead and have a bite—you won’t die.” Well, we know how that turned out.
Well, I know this story is a day late and a dollar short, but the big truth is for every day. Never, ever, trust what Satan offers. Jesus said he is a liar and the father of it and trust me—Jesus always tells the truth. What Jesus offers—love, forgiveness, grace and peace—are all real and all can be ours for the asking. He is the treat of a lifetime—with no small print and no tricks. You can believe it—He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne