14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
-Matthew 5:14-16, NRSV
Tonight, our family will engage in the time-honored tradition: carving our pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns. It makes a terrible mess, of course… and I always seem to get stuck with the thankless job of scooping out the pumpkin guts… but still, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to make that mess with my kiddos. I can’t wait to toast the pumpkin seeds in the oven. I can’t wait to see the faces they’ll each design for their pumpkins this year.
The part I like most, though, is that first moment when we place the lighted candle inside our jack-o-lantern. There’s something special about going outside in the dark, turning off the porch lights, and watching that jack-o-lantern glow from within. There’s something special about seeing that light shining from the inside out.
Some Christians shy away from all of the trappings of Halloween, dismissing it as a morbid and even demonic holiday. But I think some of those Halloween traditions — including the jack-o-lantern — can offer us a meaningful image for who God calls us to be as Christians. That jack-o-lantern, glowing in the dark, shining its light from within, causes me to ask myself:
Is the light of Christ burning in me from the inside out?
Is that light as noticeable to other people
as is the light of my jack-o-lantern on a dark October night?
I hope so! We live in a world that, at the moment is desperate for a glimpse — even a glimmer! — of the kind of hope-filled light we have seen in Christ. So let’s show the light that burns within us. Shine on, jack-o-lanterns! Shine on.
As you shine your light, may you remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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