What’s your choice: Trick or Treat
Matthew 4: 1-11
Trick or Treat is the choice and I don’t understand why anyone would choose a trick when there is a treat on offer? It doesn’t even seem as ambiguous as the truth or dare game I remember playing at boarding school. Telling the truth could be worse than risking the dare, but trick or treat? Doesn’t matter how small the treat is, it must be better than the trick.
Don’t stop reading too quickly when I say, I like Halloween, but read first WHY I like it! I’m not into all the scary ghostly tradition and don’t ever remember dressing up thinking I could frighten the neighbours into giving me a treat to avoid me playing a trick. I wasn’t clever enough to think of a trick anyway and who needs to dress up to look scary after dark? A knock on the door at night is enough to frighten the daylights out of some people! I don’t find any satisfaction in scaring anyone or even playfully pretending too, but I like Halloween because of what it has taught me:
‘The Devil plays tricks, but God gives treats!’
I find it a useful lesson from Halloween, but the children might think I’m playing some sort of trick on them when I give them a small pocket bible as a treat. “What’s this?” they cry in horror. Sorry, I don’t really mean to frighten children when they knock on the door! I frighten them away though when I offer to explain!
‘God gives treats as the Devil plays tricks!’
The gullible world falls for the tricks because they don’t recognise them as such and what God has to offer doesn’t seem as good as what the Devil promises. I can have the whole world if I bow down and worship you! Wow! Or I can take a chance and God will always send angels to catch me if I get it wrong. Too late when I get it wrong to realise it was the Devil’s trick!
God’s treat is in every word that comes from the mouth of our Lord and that will give us a much better life than bread alone. Put it that way round and God’s Word is the honey on the bread which makes them sweeter than honey in our mouths! (Psalm 119: 103) By the time I realise the world isn’t the Devil’s to give I’ve been arrested for receiving stolen property, have a criminal record and my life is in ruin. The Devil’s promise was a trick to prevent me from serving God and receiving the many treats a Father always wants to give his children. The treat is having a share of the world with everyone else and the trick is being made to believe that I can have it all for myself. The world IS God’s so the Devil can’t give it and if he could I can’t believe he would give it away! Surely, we can see through the tricks?
So, Trick or Treat, don’t be fooled: It’s better to receive a sweet from our Father rather than believe we can own the world!
‘God is our treat, the Devil is the trick!’
Nothing will stop us remembering….
Nothing can stop us remembering and we hope we can encourage passers by to stop and remember as well…
It might be an opportunity to remember friends or family who have died or to join with the community and nation for a silence in memory of men and women who have died at war so we can live in peace.
God Bless, Richard