Jesus was willing to accept people for who they were
Halloween will be over by the time this article makes it to the Truro Daily News and trurodaily.com. Any remaining candy in the stores will be discounted, and the commercial shift to Christmas will be in full swing.
Of course, we do not want to lose focus on what lies between these two events – Remembrance Day – the time when we especially thank, honour and remember those who have served as well as appreciate those who are currently serving in our military. Freedom does not happen without cost.
As I won’t be writing an article between now and Nov. 11, I would like to express my appreciation to all of our veterans in this one. Thank you.
For the past seven Halloweens, our church has made available what we call Trunk or Treat. We open the doors to the church, and invite families in who otherwise are out and about collecting candy in the neighbourhood.
We cater this event to those who are 12 and younger, and offer several carnival style games (with prizes); a photo booth, where kids and parents can have their pictures taken; offer hot dogs and hot chocolate; and provide the trunk zone – where kids can collect treats as if they were going door-to- door.
All of this is offered free to the community. It’s fun (and Christ like) to give things away in Jesus’ name.
The first year we began Trunk or Treat, we saw 110 people flow through the church. Last year, we had approximately 500.
This is a great way for a church to interact with its community and to offer kindness and friendship to those who may not as of yet entered its doors.
And while Halloween has a certain connection to things scary and dark, we endeavour to offer an environment that is fun and enjoyable, where children can feel safe and have a good time.
Of all the places in the world, it is the church that should be the safest and most connective to its community. However, that has not always been the case.
And while I do not speak for the church community as a whole, I do feel sorry that we have, by times, not been very welcoming or loving.
But many churches and Christians are changing that.
It was said of Jesus in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jesus was full of grace and truth. This meant that he loved unconditionally. That He was willing to accept people for who they were. That He did not reject them (grace).
He was also full of truth. God desires His best for us, and invites us to walk in it.
This image of Jesus is perhaps no more evident than in the Gospel story of the woman who was caught in adultery from John 8.
In the story, according to the laws of ancient Judaism, one caught in adultery could be stoned to death. While only one of the individuals was brought to Jesus (we don’t know where the other person was), the religious crowd was ready to kill her for her actions.
Jesus was asked what should be done – and basically told them that whoever had no sin in their life could throw the first stone.
Of course, everyone dropped their rocks.
He then turned to the women and displayed His grace and truth. “neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Let us be people of truth and grace.
Ken Banks is the pastor of the Wesleyan Church in Truro. Visit them on the web at www.trurowesleyan.ca.