A Light In The Darkness

 

Since we first moved into our house on Sleepy Hollow 6 years ago we've been dreaming up ways to showcase the Gospel in our neighborhood. One way we do this is by handing out hundreds of king-sized candy bars on Halloween. 

It was no surprise to learn that our street was a popular trick-or-treating spot, given the name, lack of street lights, and eerie over-hanging trees. But we had no idea how popular. 

The first year, we bought 100 bars and ran out. The second year it was 350. We ran out. The third year it was over 600. We ran out again. Eventually, we figured out that 1200 bars were usually enough.

Jimmy and I have both written about why we do this, and I hope you'll take the time to read our explanation. In short, we're hoping to brand ourselves as "the generous house" each year in hopes to point people to God's abundant generosity in giving us Jesus. With the help of our college home group, we have a welcome team down front, a candy team at the door, and a prayer team in the prayer room. It's an amazing night every year!

This year, I wanted to share some of the fruit we've seen over the years.

SALVATION

Since we have so many stairs to our front door, there are often people hanging out around our driveway waiting for kids to make it to the top and back. Our welcome team is tasked with greeting people, making conversation, answering the inevitable "why do you do this?" with the Gospel. Last year, Jimmy and some of our college students got into a conversation with a high school student about the Gospel. He said to them, "This is the first time I've heard this," and chose to trust Jesus and repent of his sins! The Gospel really is good news! And the good news is so fun to share! We're hoping this is the first of many salvations we get to see happen in our front yard.

Conversations on our front steps aren’t the only way we’ve seen salvations. This year God reminded us of the role prayer plays in our Halloween outreach. Last year a woman asked us to pray for her son who was addicted to drugs. And she came this year to tell us God saved Him and He is now following Jesus! What a joy to get to be a small part of God’s rescue in someone else’s life. 

A GOOD REPUTATION

One hope Jimmy and I have is that our generosity on Halloween will cause our neighbors to reach out to us throughout the year. And this year, that happened!

It was summertime when she came to the door. "We live just around the corner and come to your house every Halloween. Can we go to church with you?" While they haven't been able to come very often due to work schedules, we've stayed in touch with this family. We've been able to help them in a few ways too. Our church was able to locate a used fridge for them when their's broke and they were unable to afford a new one. Our college guys (some of the same ones who were present at Halloween) helped move it in. 

We hope our house will be an embassy for the Kingdom of God all year round, a picture of what His grace is like and how abundant His kindness is. Halloween just happens to be the day when all of our neighbors are out and about. So for us, it's the best day of the year to be an ambassador for Christ!

GOSPEL CONVERSATIONS

We always look a little crazy in the grocery store when we buy our candy. Usually, we've got 2 carts stacked full of all the oversized candy we can find. Every year we get to share the Gospel with people at the store: the cashiers, the managers, those who help us bring the candy to the car, fellow shoppers who stop and say, "I've just gotta ask, what are you doing?" It's so much fun to answer with: "We love being generous on Halloween because our God has been generous to us. He sent His beloved son, Jesus, to be the payment for our sins, offering us salvation for free! He is soooo good to us that we love to imitate His goodness to others. This is just one small way."  I'm hopeful that all those Gospel seeds over the years will bear fruit one day, whether we know about it or not.

RENDER DEATH POWERLESS

"...that through death [Jesus] might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." Hebrews 2:14-15

These verses have got to be my favorite for Halloween. A reminder that Jesus took Satan's greatest weapon and used it against him! It reminds me of what we do on Halloween. On this day, when many celebrate death and wickedness, we will offer something truly worth celebrating: "the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) 

As each year passes, we are more amazed than ever at God’s faithfulness to bring us opportunities to share His light in this dark world.

But we don’t need to wait until Halloween to be the light of the world. What opportunities will you have this holiday season to point others to Jesus? Is there an elderly neighbor who might need a place at your table? Could your office Christmas party be an opportunity to share your faith with coworkers? As you wait in long lines at the mall why not strike up a conversation with the person behind you? Share the hope that Jesus’s birth gives, that we serve a God who didn’t leave us in the mess of our sin, but instead sent His son to live the life we should have lived and to die the death we should have died and rose victoriously defeating the power of sin. Christian, you have the best news in the world in your pocket! Hand it out freely this holiday season in every opportunity God gives you. 

 

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