Rev Mack Ore here. Young Matt Orth asked me to keep a journal of my Halloween experience yesterday. I’ve never been one to celebrate this holiday so all of it was very new to me. I think I remembered everything the way it happened, but details can get fuzzy after you’ve downed your weight in Milky Way mini-bites.
My wife tells me she can’t believe I’m going through with this and asks me what my costume is.
“What do you mean costume?” I say, “I thought I’d just wear an orange tie with my black suit and people will give me candy ‘cause I’m the preacher.” She rolls her eyes. I tell her to roll me some biscuits.
I’m stressed out about the costume thing. I load the 30 hours of free AOL CD into my IBM and click the dial-up link. Good, 26 hours left. I go to the Google and find some Angelfire websites that talk about costume ideas. All of them look like magazine ads from a catalog named Sodom & Gomorrah’s Babylonian Hussies & Zombies. Mack Ore goes to his bible for inspiration.
Got lost in meditation in the Minor Prophets. Really stressed now. And hungry. Grab two fists of tootsie rolls from our handout bowl. So hungry I accidentally ingest a few of the Proverbs we wrapped around them. Dang it, I hope it wasn’t the one about not embracing the bosom of a wayward woman; some third grader needs to hear that.
Inspiration strikes in the book of Revelations. As usual. The kids will call this costume epic. I will tell them to stop using that word.
Teresa Jane is still sewing my costume. I ask her if she needs any skittles. She says no. I say good because I’ve eaten them all.
“What’s taking you so long?” I ask.
“The goose feathers keep jamming the needle,” says my wife.
“Do we have any more Reesie Peesies?” I ask.
Finally. Time to slither this holy tent of a body into my costume. The moment I’m complete, the doorbell rings. I answer the door to find my own son under a white sheet with tons of holes. Holes that looked recently burned.
“Trick or treat!”
“What are you?”
“The Holy Ghost.”
“Nice. Does your mom know you burned holes in that sheet?”
“Not yet. Who are you?” he asks.
“I’m the Angel holding the 7 Bowls of God’s Wrath.”
“What’s in the bowls?”
“Can I have some candy?”
“There’s nothing left but black jelly beans and half a Zero bar.”
“Don’t look at me.”
I have an eight foot wingspan. I am reminded of this as I hear the sound of Precious Moments Bible Hero figurines crashing in my wake. I turn quickly to try and save Ezekiel but drop one of the bowls of wrath onto Teresa Jane’s lace table cloth. The irony is not lost on me.
I line up my eight children to inspect their costumes. I already met the Holy Ghost. My youngest cut out the bottom of a picnic basket and is walking inside it wearing a diaper.
“Who are you?”
“Excellent. And historically accurate.”
The next three stand close together and look like Anthony Wiener, Nancy Grace, and a big cardboard box with doors cut into the front.
“Kids, I said Christian costumes only.”
“We’re The Lyin’, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
“The Angel of Wrath stands corrected,” I say.
My son Eagleswings stands with a shaved head.
“Get it, dad? I’m a bald eagle.”
“I said Christian costume.”
“I represent America.”
I look at my two oldest children, clearly dressed as zombies.
“After twenty five years in this house, you should know what I feel about evil costumes.”
“We’re Ananias and Saphira.”
“This is the greatest night of my life.”
“Don’t wait up Teresa Jane. Mack Ore is going trick or treating!” I turn sideways to fit through the door, balancing all seven bowls like I was made to carry God’s wrath. I look for something to haul my loot in.
I knock on Ray Comfort’s door. He winks at me and puts a banana in my wheelbarrow.
I get a tip from a girl dressed like Satan mated with Minnie Mouse (one of the pagan kids called it Miley Cyrus) that down the street John Piper was hosting a Reformaween party. Sounds like some serious fun.
Stopped on my way to Reformaween by a group of angry protestors. They hold signs saying “Hallowicked!” and “Candy Corns = Devil’s Horns” and yell angry slogans at the families walking by while throwing scarecrows dressed like vampires into a bonfire.
I decide to yell back at them.
“I thought we believed in redemption!”
“This holiday started from pagan roots!” one woman yells back, “It celebrates evil.”
“Maybe it did back then, but for most folks now it just celebrates creativity, costumes, and candy. They aren’t trying to rejoice in evil.” I reply.
“No sir,” says the man I assume to be the lead preacher, “You participate in a holiday at all then you participate in what that holiday originally stood for.”
“Oh, so no matter how greedy and gluttonous we are at Thanksgiving, we’re still honoring the original gratitude of the pilgrims?”
I arrive at Reformaween. The door guard asks if I’m invited.
“Of course I am,” I say.
“How can I be sure?” he says.
“I’ve been chosen.” I say.
“How do you know?” he says.
“It was predestined.” I say.
“I don’t know if you sound elect enough,” he says.
“I’m carrying the seven bowls of God’s wrath,” I answer, “And one of them is full of sour patch kids.”
“Irresistible,” he says, and grabs a handful, “You may enter, but don’t ask John for the recipe for the Justification Muffins, it just makes him angrier.”
I fail miserably at Bobbing for Total Depravity Apples. Everyone yells at me to try harder, but I just don’t feel like persevering.
I meet Mark Driscoll by the machos and cheese. He’s dressed as the Incredible Hulk and informs me the rest of the Avengers had to leave because they heard someone dressed as The Gospel but didn’t do it right. He is really, really impressed with my costume.
“No Mark, for the last time, you can’t ‘pour out’ a few of my bowls on the people over there.”
The folks dressed as Priscilla and worship-leading Aquila thank me. Thirsty, I grab another RC Sproul-a and mingle some more.
“Nice costume. Captain Caveman, I loved that cartoon.”
“That’s just my goatee,” says David Crowder.
“Oh. I love that song you wrote about a sloppy wet kiss. I, um, have all these chips and I’m out of Glory Guacamole,” I say and leave. It was more awkward than it sounds.
I’m approached by a man dressed as a drug dealer but wearing a tie and carrying a bible.
“Hey, I’m Billy Gram. You want to get out of here?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure I want to leave with someone like you.”
He pulls down his shades and looks at me, “It’s me, James Dobson. Pretty cool, huh?”
“Jim! I’ve missed you so much!” I say.
“Let’s split, I heard there’s nothing but air in the Seeker Sensitive Piñata,” he says.
I’m a bit woozy from my ninth king-size butterfinger, either that, or David Platt put something radical in the Penal Substitution Punch. Jim “Billy Gram” Dobson and I meet some nice Lutheran girls dressed as Pre-Fall Eve and Post-Psalm 51 Bathsheba. I spray myself with Job 31:1 cologne and we head to a Judgment House they heard about over in the Baptist cul-de-sac.
So, apparently Judgment houses are Halloween plays designed to make you think about what you should yell from hell to all your guilty friends in heaven. It would have been nice for Dr. Dobson to warn me before I pulled three bloody teenagers from an overturned car, shut down an abortion clinic in a Sunday School room, and turned on the AC and lights in Hades after casting out all the demons that looked suspiciously like 6th graders.
Billy Gram and I try to share a popcorn ball we got from some guy named Shane in a hobo costume but it wasn’t really popcorn, it was made from used gum he’d recycled.
Blogaweeners house party. We didn’t feel welcome there; they all just sat in different corners writing about each other and sipping red wine.
Hordes of college students running into us, fleeing in terror.
“What are you running from?” I ask.
“That house back there! It’s really haunted!”
“Run for your lives!”
“Finally, some real action,” says Dr. D.
The house is a standard subdivision home, with a two car garage, manicured lawn, and warmly lit windows. We enter the home. Sitting at the dining room table is a husband and wife and two kids, a brown dog lies in the corner. “I wonder why the college kids said this place was haunted.” I say.
The dad raises his arms and speaks to us.
“You’ll never have this unless you work hard, learn the meaning of sacrifice, and persevere when things don’t automatically go your way. You will not get your dream job out of college, or even out of graduate school in all likelihood, and you most certainly won’t be able to make ends meet if you keep racking up debt. Most of you will go through long bouts of loneliness and then if you do get married, you’ll find that finding that special someone was a lot less work than learning to love that special someone every day. Would you like a bite of grass fed roast beef? It cost ten dollars a pound. Muhahahahahaha.”
I part ways with Billy Gram, Bathsheba, and Eve, who is passed out in my candy wheelbarrow. (She better not puke on my Swedish fish.) I meet John Eldredge who asks if I want to have a little fun.
I arrive home. Whoa, John, you really are wild. Hope Max Lucado finds the wheels to his car before the cops do.
I pass out on the couch watching TBN with a twizzler in my mouth. My bowls of wrath tip over on to the carpet.
Happy All Saints Day to you all.