Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Neighborhood Outreach Planned for Tomorrow

There are many who have tried to banish Halloween as an evil holiday by locking their doors and turning out the porch light.

But what does God say?

First, love God with all your heart
 and with all your soul
 and with all your mind
 and with all your strength.
 And when you do that,
          He changes your heart
     so that you can do the second thing:
                       Love your neighbor.

God literally changes you so that you see all things differently.
And as Creator of the Universe,
        He helps us to grasp opportunities
and see connections between things that ordinarily appear unrelated.

How can I love my neighbor in creative ways?  

What we know as Halloween is the borrowing of many customs, dating back to the Middle Ages.  Indeed, at one time, trick or treating -- the custom of going from house to house -- was called "souling," where the poor received food in return for prayers.

But Halloween really means "hallowed (or holy) eve," the night before All Souls Day, which was the celebration of the faithful.

And so, since Halloween is a compilation of customs, may we add our own.

Today is my grandmother's birthday.  She has been gone a long time, and she would have been 125 today.  She loved Halloween because it gave her the opportunity to love the children of her world-- which consisted almost entirely of our city block.  On Halloween, she pulled out an old scarf with dangles on it, a large plastic nose, and a plastic warted thumb which she pulled over her own arthritic one.  She made it fun.  And every kid in our neighborhood knew this home-bound grandma and loved her because she loved them, no matter whose kid they were.  My grandmother knew that loving others is not about programs and projects, but the people all around us every day.

A nationwide outreach is planned for tomorrow, a time designated to love your neighbors by granting them sweet treats, by getting to know them and their children, by loving them in that way. 

Let your house be the sweet spot in the neighborhood.   Love your neighbor.  A candy bar goes a long way in making that happen.

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