Dr. Swisher, A couple of weeks ago there was an article in The Blade about Halloween being a confusing conundrum for Christians. What do you think?   Harry, Toledo

Hello Harry. Thank you for this question. I’m answering you from Kansas City where I am at a strategy meeting with other Senior Pastors of the largest United Methodist Churches in America.  I asked a few of my colleagues and they agree that this Holiday is neither confusing nor challenging to us.

In fact, it all comes down to understanding history and the purpose of this Holiday. Halloween is a combination of an old English phrase for All Hallows Eve which is simply a way to commemorate and pay tribute to those faithful Believers who have transitioned to the next life in the last year.  In the Christian world this has come to be known as All Saints Day.

More than one billion pounds of pumpkins were produced in America this year with Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and California leading the effort. I am told that America hit a new record this year of 10 billion dollars spent on costumes and candy.

As in anything the purpose of a holiday or event can be perverted or misused.  However, the real meaning of remembering those intrepid ancestors both past and current is a wonderful custom.  And if kids of all ages can have fun getting dressed up as their favorite Marvel character or Superhero and enjoying delicious treats while doing so...why not?

Happy All Saints Day to you and all of our readers. May it be a joy-filled and tasty experience.