Opportunity Knocks

re-posting from 2010

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20 

Kids in costumes can be cute, yes. But Halloween really can be annoying.

I have many fun childhood memories of Halloween. As an adult, though, I’ve never really been a fan of the day and all the scary, gross stuff that comes with it. I especially dislike all the scary, gross stuff invading the aisles of nearly every store I frequent. Unexpectedly bumping into creepy, bloody costumes and decorations tends to wig out my kids while we are shopping. And isn’t the world dark and scary enough already? Must our culture go to such lengths to delight in fear?

In our small-town neighborhood, more than a hundred trick-or-treaters come knocking on our door every year. They come early and they come often.  It’s a lot of candy. It’s a lot of door-answering. It’s a lot of scary costumes! Sometimes my daughters get spooked, run away and hide.

Every year I’m tempted to be annoyed by Halloween. I’m not spooked, but I am tempted to run away and hide myself. I’m tempted to buy no candy, turn off all the lights and pretend to be gone. It’d probably be easier to hide. It’d be cheaper for sure.

But then I am reminded to make the most of every opportunity.

Ephesians 5: 15-17 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

How often do we have 100 kids knocking expectantly on our door? Would I be foolish to run away and hide? What is the Lord’s will on Oct. 31?

It’s the same as any other day: Love God and love your neighbor.

Neighbor. Oh, the very word reminds me of all those unique little faces that come knocking on the door — some sweet, some scary, some goofy, some painted, some masked, some friendly, and some unfamiliar. Each one is my neighbor. Behind every mask and under every hat, wig and cape is a person God created, a person God loves — and most importantly — a person God calls me to love as I love myself.

Galatians 5:14 says, “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

What’s more, in Acts 26:17, when the Lord first speaks to Paul (then Saul) on the road to Damascus and calls him to be a missionary, He says, “…I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

So the Lord’s will is that I use this day, this opportunity, to love my neighbor and to fight fear with faith by shining God’s light into a dark world.

But how exactly?

Well, this is how is looks in our family this year. We offer candy to satisfy the neighbor’s sweet tooth, but we also offer the One who can forgive their sins and satisfy them with His unfailing love.

We turn on all the lights. We let the kids dress up in innocent costumes. We encourage them be friendly and kind to our neighbors. We answer each knock. We give out candy. We give out Christian tracks. And later we pray for each child — big or small — who came knocking. We pray that they read the little books we gave them. We pray that they hear the voice of the Savior as He knocks at their doors. And we pray that they open the door and let Him in.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20 

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