Sandy (mum) and Grace (8) did an alternative Light Party in their front yard at Halloween. Here's their story ...
How did it come about?
Our Light Party was Grace’s idea. Beforehand I was not impressed at the thought of standing for two hours in the cold, but Grace was very excited she was actually going to act out her ideas.
What did you do?
We attracted children by having lights on, curtains open and tea lights in the front yard. We had two stations: apple bobbing, and bracelet making. Grace stood at the door, gave every child a glow stick and sang ‘My Lighthouse’ to them. I welcomed each group, explained we were Christians, that there is no darkness where there is light, God is light and we should follow him, not darkness.
How did people respond?
People were attracted and interested by the lit up house. Between eight and twelve children at a time stood waving glow sticks as I told them the true meaning of that night. Parents shared cultural traditions of their country and many adults were chatting and children playing. I had to laugh - most forgot the sweets we had to give! They left waving glow sticks, some singing ‘My Lighthouse’! I spoke to many families and they said such things as: ‘Food for thought!’, ‘We will do this next year!’, ‘WOW, amazing idea!’
How did you feel afterwards?
I wasn’t cold and my feet didn't touch the ground. Grace gave out sixty glow sticks and forty apples were dunked. We needed more hands to make bracelets (which were to show God is eternal). I didn't know two people could reach out and touch so many people's lives in 1¾ hours!
Last Sunday, one of our church shared this word:
2 Kings 4:1-7 tells the miracle of the widow and the clay jars. God miraculously filled as many jars as the woman could get hold of with oil to enable her to pay her debts.
I believe God longs to pour out the oil of his blessing, his healing, his abundant life on all of us.
We are those empty clay jars. God only filled the ones the widow was given.
If we choose to hold back, whether through fear or unbelief or lack of self worth, God can't fill us.
He wants to fill our clay jars with the gift of His Holy Spirit, corporately and individually.
We simply have to come and offer Him our emptiness. He loves us and longs to bless us.
"As I was coming home from the prayer gathering, I had a picture of a dry stone wall. I could see the ‘odd’ shapes of the stones and how they fitted perfectly together to make a strong wall to be able to face the fiercest of weather and be a protection for whatever was on the lee side of it. I also felt that if ‘my stone’ was not there, there would be a gap and the wall would be weakened. It could possibly collapse!! I don’t feel that is me being arrogant but in humility knowing with confidence I have a place in the wall.
"I felt that for St James’ by the Park it was a picture of us all being of great importance, all different shapes but fitting together to make something strong and beautiful, for dry stone walls are so much more beautiful than a ‘bland’ brick wall. They can a bit rough and ready - as individuals within the church, we are not perfect, but all together…. Who knows!