Mon., Oct. 31, 2016
Philippians 1:27: Most important, live together in a manner worthy of Christ’s gospel. Do this, whether I come and see you or I’m absent and hear about you. Do this so that you stand firm, united in one spirit and mind as you struggle together to remain faithful to the gospel.
As I turned off the outside lights tonight, I reflected upon the many Power Rangers, Princesses and Ninja Turtles that graced our porch in the last couple of hours. Some of the spoken responses I overheard replayed in my head:
“Look at the whole bag of goodies!”
“We got more than one treat!”
Grandma talking with parents, “This is where that Methodist pastor lives … (I didn’t hear the rest).”
It’s Halloween or All Hallows Eve. I’m not going to debate whether Christians should celebrate Halloween. I’m not going to gauge what is appropriate and not appropriate. More important to me is how we live in such a manner that reflects the spirit of the gospel in our daily lives. What I know is there are many simple ways we can model ways to live the gospel with our actions.
Last Wednesday night at our Wednesday Night Church School (WNCS), we had a Family Fun Night. Part of the evening’s activities included the kids making cards to send to shut-in’s, some more mature folks and those who just might enjoy a handmade card. After everyone had left and the church quieted down after 90 minutes of noisy activity, I looked through each card the kids lovingly made. Look closely at the photo of the card I’m including. It says: “You rock. Don’t get to scared. ♥ Jesus.” Talk about taking the opportunity to witness the gospel in a Halloween card! And from a young kid who knows Jesus ♥’s them.
On Sunday, we had one of the more popular worship services of the year: Trunk of Treat. Because the sanctuary at one of the church’s I serve is currently under major remodeling, we held worship at the local elementary school gym. It was unconventional and not like worshiping at the church. Yet, I think Christ was just fine with it. Lots of kids came in their costumes. The local costume expert, who happens to be a part of the church, made sure I also had a costume.
After worship, we closed down the street in front of the school for a while so kids could go from vehicle to vehicle and get treats. How fun it was! How many trick-or-treaters get to take candy out of a KFC bucket from a man who looks more like Colonel Sanders than the one on the commercials? I thank the family who had a display of cool jars with eyeballs, preserved items and colored liquids in them. Creative adults handed out mini flashlights, string cheese, Rice Krispy treats, juice bags and other fun treats. It made my heart full to watch the kids … and the adults … share in an experience which shares the love of Christ through action. The many “thank you’s,” laughter and smiles assured me this is a way we can bring love into people’s lives.
Sometimes, we spend a lot of energy focusing on things which separate us rather than finding creative ways in which we can share Jesus’ ♥ with others. We can do this every day, as well as All Hallows Eve day. I pray we can stand firm, united in one spirit as we try to remain faithful to the gospel.
Lord God – may we see opportunities this day to live out the gospel in some small way. Please encourage us to stand firm in your spirit this day. Amen.
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