When I think back on times at church that made an impression on me, it usually comes from a sermon, a song, a presentation, or the Scripture that is read. So it caught me by complete surprise that the thing that got my attention was an announcement. Announcements tend to be the necessity of organization, keeping everyone on the same page. You can sometimes tune them out if they just seem to be following the bulletin. Yet there I found myself rolling an announcement over in my heart and mind.
The announcement was concerning Halloween. I grew up in a background that did not celebrate this holiday and felt there was much evil in it. Nowadays, I don't celebrate it simply because I don't connect with it in any meaningful way. But at my church, the announcement was made that we would be putting candy in Refuge Church cups with invitations to the church. It's not that novel an idea, but coming from my background, I thought it was very sweet and delightful. That's when the pastor made this statement: "Halloween is the one time of year that if you simply leave your porch light on, people will come to you and your home that would never come otherwise."
Immediately, I was taken back because it hit me in such a resonating way with the beauty of its truth. Leave a light on and children will step out from the darkness, expecting something sweet with no thought of paying for it or earning it. They still wear their masks, but it can't hide what lies behind them. In giving out these cards with the candy, we are not saying that Refuge Church has everything they are looking for. Rather, we are saying there is something far more satisfying than this candy that will soon be devoured. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I know I wandered in the darkness - still do sometimes. But a light was left on the porch for me - the great light of the world. I came with my mask, hoping for a treat, but bracing for the trick. I was met with something I didn't expect - Jesus gave me all of Himself. He beckoned me to taste and see that He is good. The sugary sweetness of the world lasts a moment and does nothing to nourish. His body is a feast that nourishes and strengthens the broken heart, His blood slakes the thirst of my soul.
I need to pay attention to announcements more often.