LIGHT UP THE NIGHT
Jesus said in Mark, Chapter one, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people.” As I read these words on our reading plan this month, my prayer was, “Lord, can you please teach me how to fish for people?”
When I was a little girl, my family would go to the Double M Hunting Camp for our summer vacations and my daddy would always take me fishing with him. I don’t know a lot about fishing, but I do know a few of the basics. You need a rod, a hook, and some bait. You need to find a place where the fish are and then cast your rod and wait for a bite.
My dad and I always went fishing in a small little stream in the Pennsylvania mountains and we caught brook trout. I can still picture it. We would go out, fish for a few hours and come home with some trout in our bucket. We would clean them and then hand them off to momma. She would pat them down with flour, add some salt and pepper and fry them up in her sizzling cast iron skillet. The smells and tastes were wonderful and it was always worth those few hours of fishing.
Light Up the Night is all about going fishing. Fishing for people that is.
The rod is my house.
The hook is the big slide on my front yard where the kids will play and want to hangout.
The bait is some homemade hot chocolate, the “good” candy and a welcoming atmosphere.
Halloween night is the place where the fish are.
I cast my rod by opening my home around 5 PM on October 31st and then I just wait for a bite.
On this night, the fish are knocking on my door. They swim right up to my house. All I need to do is show up!
I used to be afraid of “Halloween”. It was something I never wanted to participate in. I used to rush off to do something more “holy” on a night like this; something like a fall festival or the Holy Ghost Weiner Roast. Sometimes I’d just shut the lights off and pretend I wasn’t home. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to Triple R ranch for the wiener roast and I still enjoy fall festivals but I’ve also learned not to be afraid of the “lost”, those who are searching, knowingly or unknowingly, for Christ.
I’m not afraid anymore of people who don’t know Jesus. Instead, I’m expectant.
I’ve discovered that Halloween is a wonderful time to reach out to the people in my neighborhood with love, kindness and the joy of the Lord. In John 1:14, The Message Bible says, The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
That’s what Light Up the Night is all about! It’s about moving into the neighborhood and being generous inside and out, true from start to finish. It’s about being a Light and being Love on a dark night which creates an opportunity to bless people right where they are. Then, when I see God moving, or opening a door for a conversation to take place, or a holy moment is about to happen, I’m there. I’m there just waiting for a fish or two to take a bite.
P.S. If you want to be involved in Light Up the Night, or do something similar in your neighborhood please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.