“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. –Matthew 5:14-16
Every year I feel it. The winding of the gears… preparing for three months in a row of Americans celebrations. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. October, November, and December.
When I say preparing, I don’t mean getting out the Halloween costumes, the Santa decor, or even the overload of expensive shopping (although we do give gifts at Christmas). What I mean by preparing, is the spiritual readiness to shine bright for Jesus in a world that has so many idols tempting us to allow Him to be drowned out of the front stage solo position He is due.
Disclaimer: I am not teaching or even proclaiming to know what is right or wrong. I believe this is something that the requires each one of us to humbly ask the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in. But we have to recognize this one truth. We are in a battle. A battle to make God known, especially during these three months in a row.
In a culture that has so many fun activities to participate in, one could truly get washed away with the tide. So much busy-ness going and hosting parties one might not have the energy to try in the loudness and chaos to make Him known. I’m not talking about being nice to the neighbors as they come knock on your door and sing trick-or-treat. Although, that is part of the ingredients. I am talking about going the extra distance to make Christ known and evangelize this lost world we live in here, out our front door.
It can be an overwhelming thought to try to take on yet one more thing during this season. I get it. But I want to spend myself doing the things that are going to make eternal impact. What about you? Sometimes, this may mean choosing one thing over another. Choosing battles to fight in a sense. I would like to invite you to join me in this mission.
Over the past seven or eight years, my husband and I have done our own version of the Pumpkin Gospel while carving with our kids. It has changed over the years as it started out as a concept, a fun thing to do with the youth group I was leading 15 years ago. The kids loved it, and I have done it a few times over the years while teaching Sunday School as well. This is a great way to share the gospel, to talk about sin, the yuckiness in our hearts, and everyone’s need for a Savior.
Can you envision with me for a moment, hundreds of children, doing the pumpkin gospel. And then on October 31st, when they see pumpkins on doorsteps and porches, they are reminded of God’s deep unconditional love for them. Imagine children seeing the candles in the pumpkins and being reminded to let their light shine for the glory of God.
This is engaging October as I see it. Not just with carving pumpkins, but with praying and asking God, how can I shine your light Jesus? And then choosing to eliminate some other things that don’t necessarily incorporate Him and choosing to create new traditions, choosing to love and serve in new ways.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
–Matthew 5:16, ESV
I hope you will partner with me in redeeming part of October 31st.
Here are some other resources for parents on engaging this season:
Redeeming Halloween | FREE Pumpkin Gospel Printable
Shining His Light Together,