When we arrived in our new country, one of the first questions the children asked was if we would have the Truth Treasure Hunt still. "I don't know... They don't even celebrate Halloween here." The Truth Treasure Hunt was the activity our family always did a few days before Halloween to help the children understand why we had chosen not to celebrate that holiday. They always had a blast and never even felt like they were missing out on anything. They actually looked forward to the Truth Treasure Hunt almost as much as Christmas!
But in our new country? It just didn't seem... I don't know... necessary.
Hindu holidays came and went. But one holiday caught the eye of the children. I have to admit, it looks totally fun! And if it were not a Hindu holiday commemorating very religious events, oh the fun we would have! It is called Holi. Imagine a city/nationwide water balloon and paint balloon fight! It is so much more than just a celebration of the arrival of Spring and Spring colors... If that is all it was, we would have a blast! (Well, until we broke out in rashes from the harmful dyes or until we got sick from the dirty sewer water some jokesters use.)
As we watched the celebrations going on around us, I thought, "Yes, we now have a new Truth Treasure Hunt."
With a little bit of research and a little bit of tweaking, I think we can come up with a Holi version of the Truth Treasure Hunt. The children will learn about the history behind the holiday, what God's Word has to say on the matter, and have a fabulous time doing it!
We always did the Truth Treasure Hunt a few days before Halloween so that we would never appear to be celebrating Halloween. I wasn't sure how my children would take to the hunt that first year, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole year... So much so that they began counting down the days to it months in advance the following year. They have never missed all the Halloween activities. They actually feel sorry for those who don't get to have a Truth Treasure Hunt. So I guess that would be a success.
The goal of the hunt not just to teach the history of a holiday or the Biblical principles we use to decide what holidays we should not celebrate. The main focus should be on the goodness of God and how He doesn't withhold things that are good for us. He is very good to His children and loves us DEARLY! If He says "no" to something, it is with good reason! If we obey, He will bless us! Our focus also is to help the children know it is ok to do things differently from everyone else if we are following the Lord.
It is also very important to teach the children it is not our place to condemn people who do not do things the way we do. Those families must, just as we did, seek the Lord's direction from His Word on these matters. We usually had a talk just after the hunt to remind them that if someone asks them about why they don't celebrate Halloween, it was a great time to explain, but it was never their job to go around being God's anti-Halloween messenger banishing people to the realms of darkness because they celebrated Halloween. The first couple of years Ben struggled with this, but he learned that we have much more important battles to fight than that of Halloween.
Overall, we want to help them to have confidence and boldness in convictions as well as standards that our family has... but at the same time we want them to learn discernment in which battles are worth fighting, and which ones we should receive one another on as Romans 14 teaches.
Here is the treasure hunt we did 2009:
(All clue envelopes marked with refective tape. The reflective tape will reflect the light from the flashlights they will get to use during the "lights off" portion of the hunt. Kids hunt individually and one at a time.)
Do you know God loves you very much? He loves you so much that He made a special promise to you.
Psalm 84:11 "For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."
There are some things God’s Word commands us to stay away from because He loves us. Sometimes we think we miss out on something fun when we are trying to obey God, but when we obey He promises to bless us with something better… and better for us.
To find the next verse you must find your next clue,
Find it hidden in something true.
It is black on the outside, Words to guide you within.
Look up this previous passage and you will grin.
(Location: In the Family Devotion Bible at Psalm 84:11) 1 Thessalonians 5:22
(In the Bible in Thes) Glad you found the next clue. In the Bible, you can find the answers to everything you need to know. One question you may have is “Should Christians celebrate Halloween? Isn’t it just harmless fun?” Let’s start in the Bible, and find out what it says. When we abstain, it means to stay away from it. Anything that looks evil and sinful, we should not do it.
Grab the light you found sitting by God’s Book,
You must use this light now as you look.
To find the next clue, you will need to see your own face.
There is an easy way to do this in this special place.
Look underneath this watery bowl,
Watch your head as you stand or you’ll bump your head as you go.
(Under the bathroom sink with a scrabble letter "O") Galatians 5:19-21
(In the Galatians passage) You found another one! Good job! We know that we should stay away from things that look evil. We know that God will bless us when we obey. But is Halloween really evil? Let’s keep looking in the Bible first. The works of the flesh are sinful things. Witchcraft is the use of magic, speaking to the dead, foretelling the future, and other occult things. (Occult is religion that is against God.)
So witchcraft is bad… but is Halloween wrong?
You are pretty good at hunting but let’s see how you do
Looking in this wet place for your next clue.
Spinning in circles, water everywhere…
Please do not use it to try to wash your hair!
(In the washer with letter "L") 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Luke 16:22-23
(In the Bible at Luke) So we now know that we should stay away from anything that appears evil. We know that witchcraft and talking to the dead is bad. We know that when people die they immediately go to one of two places… but what about Halloween?!!!
Some people thought the Earth was round, while some called it flat.
You can use this thing to find where countries are at.
Look closely you’ll see a place to note,
Because on this round thing a circle I wrote.
(On the globe circle India and attatch this clue and the letter "D") Now let’s look at where Halloween came from. There were people long ago called the Druids. The Druids lived in Europe. They were a wicked Celtic religious people. They believed in reincarnation just like the Hindus in what country? ________________
Your next clue can be found by looking in a place where we talk to people far away.
We can even see them and they can see us as we hear what they have to say.
Look under the thing that has the letters and pull out your very next clue.
Go and hurry because you know we are all waiting on you.
(Under the computer keyboard with the letter "R") What is so important about the Day of the Dead? Where did God say the dead would be? The Catholics believe in a holding place called purgatory, a place where people go to pay for their sins. They believe that the dead go to this place, and pay for there sins… but they believe that the living can pray (especially to Mary) and do special works to get their loved ones out of this place. Does the Bible say there is a place like this? NO! We will either be in one of two places when we die.
It’s cold in here! Can’t you see? I’ll turn on my light when you open me.
Did the Druids believe that? Do the Roman Catholics believe that? Many Catholics actually celebrate a Day of the Dead. It is a day to pray for the dead to go to be with God. But that is not what the Bible teaches.
So what does this have to do with Halloween? Halloween is the Day of the Dead celebration. Where did the idea for costumes come from? Two possibilities: People dressed as reincarnated animals and ghosts of dead people to play tricks or to scare other ghosts off. OR to hide their identity when they went to pagan evil meetings. Some think it may have helped them communicate with the dead. Why the witches on Halloween? Witches talked to dead people. Why the trick or treat? People would leave treats out to keep ghosts from doing mean things to them. Why the jack-o-lantern? Witches in these pagan religions used human skulls with candles in them to light the way to their meetings.
Do you see how evil Halloween appears to be? It is still celebrating an evil holiday. What may seem harmless to many Christians is very evil. God tells us to stay away from anything that appears evil. AND He promises to bless us when we obey Him. You could have chosen to spend this night differently, but I am glad you chose to join us in our search for truth… I think it is time for your blessings. One last clue, then go enjoy your sweet treats… no tricks needed.
Just as Jesus is the only door to a relationship with God, there is one “room” in this house that only has one way in… one door. This room is big enough to walk into, but you must use the door. There are no windows, no other ways to get in this room… you must use the door. In this room you will find a treasure just for you. Use the letters you found to get your treasure.
(Treaure of gifts and candy in a case locked up with a letter padlock... combination "LORD")
Michaela figuring out the code word.
Entering the code word into the letter combination lock.
Here is 2011's Truth Treasure Hunt:
Welcome to the Truth Treasure Hunt 2010. This year’s treasure hunt theme is
“It’s All about Him.”
With this treasure hunt we want you to get to know Jesus better. We want you to know who He is. Let’s stop and take the time to talk to Him. Let’s ask Him to help us on this treasure hunt to bring Him honor.
We will take you one at a time to do the treasure hunt, starting oldest to youngest. The others may stay in this room and watch this movie with the door closed. Do not come out until we come in to get you. You may not touch the light switches during this hunt!
During this treasure hunt, you will find clues. You will find surprises. You will find secret letters that you will need to complete this hunt. But the most important thing that we hope you find is that you have a wonderful Saviour who loves you very much.
(Go to livingroom and give first clue.)
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
We live in a dark world. People are blinded by the things of this world, by sin, and the Devil. Jesus came into the world to bring the light of truth. We need light to see the right way to go. We need light to see and avoid danger. We need Jesus to know which way to go in life and to see the danger of sin so we can avoid it.
You will need something to help you with the rest of this hunt.
Here is your clue: The light is off and darkness is sure,
Until a hungry soul comes along to open the door.
(Flashlight in the fridge with clue 2 attached.)
(Turn all lights off throughout the house.)
After all the lights are turned off, read this clue using your new item.
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
If Jesus is the light of the world, how can we be the light of the world, too? When we become Christians, we are to reflect Jesus’ light. The moon has no light of its own yet we see it shining brightly because it reflects the sun’s light. Reflective tape has no light of its own but look what happens when you shine a flashlight on it. We have no light of our own, but when we live in truth and teach truth we reflect Jesus to the world.
Our family may do things differently than other families, but it is because we want to do our best to show them Jesus. So being different is a very good thing.
Here is your clue: The moon is very far away in the sky,
I wish there was something to help me see way up high!
( Clue 3 with reflective tape on it under Ben’s bed on the telescope.)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus will guide us as a family. After all, He is the way, the truth, and the life. We hope you have trusted Him as your Saviour. Jesus is the only way to God. He is the only way to Heaven. He is the only way to have eternal life. He is also the only way you can really learn how to live with joy, because He is life.
Here is your clue: This poor thing is still alive though it needs something to drink,
Mom hasn’t killed it yet, but she will soon I think!
(Behind plant with reflective tape.)
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
The Israelites had to make a choice. They had to decide if they were going to follow God. One day you will have to decide if you want your family to follow God. Joshua made his decision. His family was going to serve the Lord. We have made our decision. Our family is going to serve the Lord. We are going to trust Him. When He says something is bad, we want to stay away from it. Sometimes we are going to learn that things we have been doing are wrong. When we learn that something is wrong, we need to stop doing it. It may take time to learn and grow closer to the Lord as a family, but what we are doing tonight helps.
Here is your clue: It’s not hard to decide, and I know I “CAN.”
These alphabet goodies are for the best friend of man.
(Clue 5 with reflective tape on Alphabet Soup in cabinet and letter O)
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Did you know that Halloween is a celebration of “The Day of the Dead?” Jesus is LIFE. For those who trust Him as their Lord and Saviour, their bodies will die, but their soul will live forever in Heaven. For those who choose to reject Jesus, their bodies will die, and their soul will die forever in Hell. It is a death that never ends. Jesus does not want that to happen to anyone. He died on the cross so that we could live. Those who have eternal life look at death very differently than the world does.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We do not celebrate death. We celebrate life in Christ! He gave us VICTORY over death and sin! Through Him we are WINNERS!
Here is your clue: It always feels great to WIN A RACE,
Then you GET ONE OF THESE to put a smile on your face.
(Photo dog tags with kid’s name on it and clue 6 with reflective tape behind Ben’s trophies and the letter R.)
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Jesus knows you by name if you are His. He is a good shepherd and He will take care of you. He loves you so much that He died for you. He will provide everything you need. And as you learn to delight yourself in Him, He will bless you more and more. He loves giving you love gifts to remind you that He treasures you.
Here is your clue: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(Next clue with reflective tape in Bread cabinet along with letter D.)
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
He is our source of strength. When we learn to live life through His leadership and His strength, we will be able to share Him with this dark world. We will be able to be used by God to make a difference in people’s lives. We will learn to love people the way He loves them.
Here is your clue: I am thirsty but the jug is dry.
I’ll make some grape drink with a packet up high.
(Next clue with reflective tape in drink mix cabinet along with Letter L.)
You are almost there!
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Jesus is the door… the only way to the Father… the only way to be saved… the only entrance into Heaven. The good things we do are not the door. Baptism is not the door. Church membership or attendance is not the door. A Christian Mom and Dad are not the door. Jesus is the door.
When you trust Jesus as your Saviour, a special treasure awaits you. That treasure is eternal life, NEVER to be separated from the Lord again. Jesus paid the way for you to have this treasure by dying on the cross in your place. He died for the whole world. Some will trust Him and receive the treasure. Others will try to get the treasure their own way and fail. He is the door and the only way. Will you help tell people about this treasure and about the only way to get it?
Here is your clue: There is one “room” in this house that only has one way in… one door. This room is big enough to walk into, but you must use the door. There are no windows, no other ways to get in this room… you must use the door. In this room you will find a treasure just for you.
(Treasure of candies and goodies in master bedroom closet. It is locked up with a lettered pad lock. Must use the letters found to unlock the lock.)
2012 Truth Treasure Hunt:
We did a Minute to Win It Truth Treasure Hunt! FUN! They had to play games successfully to get their next clue!
I hope these give you some great ideas of how to NOT celebrate certain holidays. Not celebrating can be even more fun than celebrating! So what holidays do you not celebrate on the field?