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October 30, 2006

Redeeming the time

Quick, name a holiday when you can spread the love of Jesus to children. If you said "Christmas," well, we at Prison Fellowship are grateful. But what about that holiday right around the corner? You know, that one that Christians like to boycott, hiding inside with the lights out lest we be seen as endorsing a night of evil. Yes, I'm talking about Halloween.

I have to confess, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and not just because of the cheap candy I'll get Wednesday or the adorable Supermen and princesses who will shyly knock or brazenly try to open the door themselves to get at the candy basket. It's because this is the only time of year that dozens of children will march right up to my front door and let me give them something. And I don't waste the opportunity. For years, I have given every child a Christian tract along with their candy bar.  This year, it's bookmarks with Bible verses.; Next year, I'm thinking of going hard core and handing out little pocket New Testaments in blue and pink. I've been doing this for eight years and not one parent has ever complained; and frankly, the kids are excited to be getting something other than candy.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me." Well, on Halloween, they turn out in droves. At no other time of year will you have an opportunity like this to reach children who don't know Christ. As a pastor of mine once put it, "If Jesus were around today, I think He'd have the biggest bucket of the best candy in the whole neighborhood." So go on, redeem the holiday and make the most of every opportunity.

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