Great Pumpkins and Real Faith!

23 10 2017

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I won’t allow the Grinch to steal this time of the year away from me. I am adamant about sharing with you that the darker our culture might become around me, the brighter I want my light to shine. What difference can I make if nobody can see me because fear has me hidden away? How will anyone hear a message of faith, hope and love if I choose to be silent in politically correct times like these? The daily news contains chaotic happenings and acts of insanity almost every day. Our Country is more divided than it has been in hundreds of years. I have begged God to please give me the strength and courage to be able to minister as a living lighthouse looking to provide rescue and redemption. If ever there was a time for we who claim to be Followers of Jesus to start being the church as much as we claim to go to church, it is now. We need to be intentionally looking for opportunities to serve our Lord by reaching out to others. How can Christians show others Jesus if we are nowhere to be found when it matters most?

 The Lighthouse Church will be out and about tonight at the Middle Township Parade. We normally meet for our Midweek Services where we have classes and activities for every age, but not tonight. I can’t see us on the inside when everybody we want to impact is on the outside. I hope to see all of you who are reading this right now out and about all along Route 9 tonight. I know that I will be giving out my fair share of candy, walking along our Church Float which will resemble an “Autumn Hay Ride.” More often than not, I get so involved in the conversations; I end up quite a distance behind the rest of our group. It doesn’t matter though, because I know in the end that what I do is all about relationship!

 We will also be handing out tons of flyers advertising our annual “Trunk and Treat” coming up this Sunday October 29th from 4-6PM. I like to say that it is called “Trunk and Treat” rather than “Trunk or Treat,” because without the Trunks there can be no Treats! I am expecting fifty members of our Congregation to decorate their vehicles in true “Harvest” fashion and then entertain as many children and adults as we are able to in two short hours. There will also be games, food, music, bouncy toys and all of it absolutely free. If the good news of Jesus is free of charge then we need to provide random acts of kindness with no strings attached. We have been doing this a long time and it gets better every year. And yes, I am hoping that those who come through who presently don’t go to church will start the following week at The Lighthouse.

 Every year about this time I tune into “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” Yes, I admit I am old enough to remember when it was on the very first time. I remember the next day, the good Sisters at Notre Dame School in Cedar Knolls had us singing ‘Pumpkin Carols.” What I love about this cartoon is the passion Linus shows about making sure that he is sitting in the most sincere Pumpkin Patch on Halloween night so that The Great Pumpkin will come with toys, candies and gifts. As Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang knows by now, Linus has done this every year but all he gets for his efforts is missing out on what they all call, “Tricks and Treats!”

 Charlie Brown’s little Sister Sally is finally ready for her chance to go out into the neighborhood. Her love for Linus plays havoc with her common sense and she ends up in a Pumpkin Patch where all she experiences is a chill and a beagle. Sally is incensed at her “Blockhead Beau,” because he robbed her of all the goodies and party. Charlie Brown in regular fashion goes out into the neighborhood to only collect a bag of rocks. We kids laughed at that year after year while more compassionate kids actually sent Charles Schultz their Halloween Candy to give to good old Charlie Brown. When it is all said and done, Linus has learned absolutely nothing. Next year, even though there has never been any evidence to the contrary, Linus will be out there again with passion in his gut and hope in his heart.

As God’s people, we’ve got way more than the Great Pumpkin to look forward to in our days to come. Faith isn’t a pipe dream and while we may at times have thick skulls, the Lord wouldn’t call us “Blockheads,” for standing on the Rock. Every time I see Linus, I want his innocence and faith. Our world is like Charlie Brown these days, living life and ending up with nothing but a bag of bricks. But with the determination of Linus and the reality that our God is a sure truth,  this is no time to miss the party. In a season of darkness, we are the ones Heaven will use to ignite the Light and others will want to come along to where we are going. Even the loud mouth Lucy’s of the world can’t spoil our joy. I’ll bring my Bible and you bring your blanket and we will spell security with the letters: J-E-S-U-S!

 


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