The festivals of this world, places like our own Haunted Happenings and Burning Man and dozens of others, provide freedom to express the wild foolishness of the gospel. In these settings, satire, humor, and surprise come forth as valid expressions for turning the world upside down, like the Christians in Acts did (Acts 17:6).
Sometimes, I even laugh to myself in the midst of it all. On our church-sponsored music stage last year, we kicked off the show with the Meat Puppets' "Lake of Fire," popularized by Nirvana. A couple hundred people pumped their fists and jumped up and down. The crowd sang about the lake of fire like a big weird Halloween choir.
After 14 years of outreach in Salem, we still find ourselves interrupted by kindness and love coming from unlikely places. Between costumed monks, visiting seekers, and friendly witches, we continue to learn about grace. Each Halloween our world turns upside down, and we learn about the power of the foolishness of the gospel.
Phil Wyman is a writer, musician, and pastor of the Gathering at Salem, in historic Salem, Massachusetts.