Halloween is fun. Granted, the holiday can get out of control and I know that there is a fine line between having fun and allowing all sorts of evil thoughts into one’s mind. Moreover, the roots of Halloween are not something I like. But, to see my kids dress up like Minions or Power Rangers gives a sense of freedom. They pretend that they are something else for one moment.
It is something that children, teenagers, and adults do throughout our lives. We have a few opportunities to reinvent ourselves for better or worse. But it is something that Paul stresses we must do throughout the book of Romans. We cannot be content to continue to do what we’ve always done, but we must become more like Christ and less like “Adam”. The beginning of Romans 12 in verse 2 Paul writes beautifully: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Paul isn’t asking us to dress up like something from the latest movie or act like something we aren’t; he wants us to be TRANSFORMED entirely into something else. The only way to be renewed is to offer ourselves as sacrifices to Jesus...to let Jesus’ words, life, and the Holy Spirit invade us and transform us into what may seem like a foreign costume.
Rarely does this happen overnight. I stress this to new believers that if you could see yourself 3 or 30 years from now you will see what this verse actually means. But through time and being committed to God’s transforming power in the Holy Spirit we can see that God literally will turn us in to something entirely different. This is where the parallel to Halloween comes in: The costume that seems to be a fake is now permanent.
Neither of my children would actually want to become what they dressed up as on most days.
They would like to keep their identities as children who go to school and have their lives. Yet there are times that they do want to be superheroes. They do yearn to be a celebrity. A singer. A quarterback. Any number of “costumes” that the world says are successful.
Do you live a life where someone would look at your faith and they would think, “I want—that. Whatever they have…the way they view the world, I want to become that”.
While there are times in Scripture where there is a miraculous conversion and voices from heaven, the most often way that someone comes into contact and decides to give their life over to Christ is because of the desire to be transformed into something else. Consider how your costume looks: is it off some moments? Is it worn, tattered, or vibrant and well cared?
The day after Halloween is All Saints Day. A day in which we remember the “Saints” that have gone before us, but also give proper acknowledgment of those Christians who “wore” the identity with conviction, character, and calling. As I preached last Sunday, I hope your legacy is to reflect the calling in which we have all been asked. Moreover, I hope your identity is wrapped up in the one who saved you and is broadcast to all who come near.