In In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” Not “You are like light” or even “You will shine like a light,” but “You ARE the light.” Last night we had an opportunity to put this into action in a very real way.
Our church hosted our first Light The Night event. We turned the yard next to our church into a carnival. A huge inflatable slide, an inflatable bounce house, a cookie walk, carnival games, coffee and cookies for the parents, and an opportunity for someone to win a family pass to Zehnders Splash Village were just some of the ways we wanted to light up a usually dark Halloween night. These events were great, but they were just events.
We WERE the light last night.
I couldn’t be prouder of the lit-up folks from Bethel who became light last night. From the moment the first guests showed up, our worker’s smiles were already shining. One loaned out his cell phone for a scared teenager who had ‘lost’ her mother to call home, one got two packages of diapers for a family in need, one ran to get a Band-aid for a young girl with a boo-boo, one offered to give a family without a car a ride to church, and one let a little boy dressed in an oversized frog costume play his game again and again and again until he hit the target. We had at least 90 students and their families attend last night. Each visitor was treated like they were the only visitor, and the last guest was treated with as much love and respect as the first guest. Once I stood back on the other side of the driveway and beamed with pride watching these lit-up people truly become light in the Burton community.
Whether one of our Light The Night guests ever attends our church or not was not the point of last night’s fun. The point was to shine… and that they did brilliantly! My prayer is that the glow from last night will continue to shine a way to Jesus for all of our guests.
I am an extremely proud pastor!
You can see more Light The Night pictures on Flickr.