On Halloween, our place as a family is in our neighborhood surrounded by people, not sequestered away from it. Today is Halloween. That means every family in my neighborhood will be outside walking around at the same time. Every parent will be going door to door with their children, laughing as they scream for candy, and trying to keep up with their little superheroes and soldiers that run ahead to the next house.
Like every year, we’re having a bunch of neighbors over for some chili and other tasty goods. We’ll hand out candy together, admire the warriors and princesses that come our way, and even take a turn trick or treating with my mini-SpiderMan and baby SuperGirl. Last week The Heights (my church) threw a big party at the church for our community complete with prizes, candy, bounce houses, and a live DJ. Our entire congregation steps up to make this an event we can invite folks to and bless the neighborhood families with each year. But we never do it on the same night our neighbors are out Trick or Treating. The reason? As a church, we understand that our purpose is to be a part of our communities, not sequestered away from them.
We’re building a rep as “the house that gives away a lot of candy” and “the house where all those families are hanging out” and loving every minute of it. We have a bunch of orange lights, a few smiling pumpkins, and a strobe light outside. The last thing we want to be is “the house with the lights off” that parents tell their kids to skip on Halloween. The last thing we want to is to be “the cheap house” that gives away crap candy instead of Mallow Cups and Peppermint Patties or “the religious people” that give out weird booklets out instead of Three Musketeers.
Look, go go buy some extra candy during your lunch break. Grab a cheap strand of orange lights, too. Make your home a warm place where people will stop and chat, and not a place parents tell their kids to ignore. Your place is in your neighborhood, surrounded by people… not sequestered in hiding.