Each year countless parents and church leaders approach me about their own perspectives on Halloween from both ends of the spectrum. You have your antagonists and you have your apologists. One thing my wife and I agreed upon years ago was that we would do things a bit differently in our family. Not just around a single day of the year, but in general, we knew we would be a family that was quite comfortable being counter-cultural (when we felt it necessary to do so). Last night our church family hosted our 2nd annual Family Night of Service.
A Night of Service
With all of extreme generosity and tremendous love, it looks like we are going to double our original target of 50 boxes. This year an additional (approximately) 100 people will receive a Christmas gift, many of them for their first time ever even receiving a gift. Special thanks all around:
1. God: Thank you Father for the generous gift of life that we receive in your Son, Jesus Christ, and the gift of your Holy Spirit. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and that empowers us to give of ourselves. In the words of the Psalmist “What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12)
2. St. Anianus Organizing Team: Your hard work of organizing the Operation Christmas Child Service last night did not go unnoticed. Your efforts allowed for over 60 people (volunteers and donors) to be blessed by doing the work of the saints.
3. Volunteers: May God bless each of the volunteers who came out last night to spend their Halloween sharing in this great service. Your labor of love was truly reflected as you participated in doing the work of the saints!
4. Donors: Your generosity, donations and financial gifts will help put a smile on the face of the children, who are looking forward to receiving their Christmas gifts in just a few, short weeks.
5. Samaritan’s Purse: The work of your organization in bringing the love of Jesus to young children – all throughout the world – with a goal of bringing the gospel to those you serve, make the work of Samaritan’s Purse a blessing to countless children.
Please keep on praying for the nearly 100 children who will be receiving their gifts, that this small offering would be a reminder of God’s great Christmas gift to the world, that the Father sent His Son to be our gift.
And three lessons I personally am reminded of:
Looking for Alternatives: A great number of people (singles, married folks, and families) are simply looking for an alternative to the traditional manner of celebrating Halloween.
Light a Candle: As the proverb goes, it is far “better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
God Shines Brighter in our Midst: When the saints of God get together to light a candle, His Light shines brightly from their midst.