Greetings, St. John UCC and St. Philip’s UCC!
Welcome to full fall mode—pumpkin spice everything, leaves changing color, a crisp chill in the evening air, and the most important mission of the autumn season: finding the perfect Halloween costume!
Do you hunt down a new costume every year? Or maybe you rotate through the ones already in your closet? Do you go for the pre-packaged, one-stop costumes, or do you strategize and toil over a DIY, hot glue gun, safety pins, and duct tape montage of random garments (and objects) from your closet? Do you look for something spooky and scary, or do you put together something cute and sparkly?
Or, maybe your days of donning costumes are behind you, and you just appreciate and delight in the costumes of kids who ring your doorbell and offer a joke in exchange for a sweet treat? Or, maybe costumes aren’t just reserved for one night of the year—maybe every day is a fashion show you or your neighbors participate in?
Some kids wear costumes of people or characters that they admire, that they consider heroes, or that have qualities that they appreciate. Some kids choose costumes that are a glimpse into their aspirations, hopes, and dreams—they dress up as ballerinas, astronauts, or adventurers they imagine they could become in the future. And some just have fun dressing up for one night as something completely opposite of who they really are—villains or zombies or spooky creatures of darkness. We don’t always know if a costume is representative, antithetical, or just plain silly without any deeper meaning to it at all.
Halloween is a fun time to dress up and wear a costume. But, every single day, year-round, we clothe and present ourselves in one way or another to the world. The textiles themselves may or may not be representative of the threads we strive to weave together in the world.
What if we were to be intentional about how we present ourselves to the world around us, to our neighbors, to friends and strangers alike, not just on Halloween, but every day? What if we clothed ourselves like the strong woman described (and celebrated) in Proverbs—with strength and dignity? What if we clothed ourselves with love and compassion? What if our costumes were grace and peace? What if, when others see us, regardless of the garments we put on our bodies, what if they saw the embodiment of love and compassion, grace and peace?
Maybe it’s aspirational. Maybe it’s authentic. Maybe it’s a costume we hide ourselves in on days that we feel especially un-grace-filled or un-compassionate? We all have those days. Maybe some days we wear love and grace like a costume and even more days we wear peace and compassion like it’s our best fashion foot forward, like a well-fitting glove.
Maybe we can wear silly costumes on Halloween, whether they’re spooky or sparkly, and maybe every day, including the days when even the silliest costumes hide our faces, we can wear love and grace boldly.
BOO! May we startle our neighbors with love, grace, compassion, and joy—this Halloween season, and always.
Trying on all the costumes, striving to boldly wear love,