Do your neighbors often come home, hit their garage door opener, drive into their garage, and then close it before you get a chance to greet them personally? This is not an uncommon experience in our busy Northern Virginia suburbs.

This coming week, Halloween provides us with a unique opportunity to connect with the people in our neighborhoods and communities.

Over the years, Valori and I have learned to see Halloween as a unique opportunity to reach out to the children and families of our neighborhood. In fact, Halloween night allows us to interact with more people in our neighborhood than on any other night of the year.

Justin Taylor shares a post by Tim Challies on how and why he uses this opportunity to reach out to those in his neighborhood.

My own experiences resonates with Tim’s, though it has not always been this way. Early in our marriage, Valori and I avoided Halloween in our neighborhood, as we attended a local Harvest Party where our children were still able to dress up and have fun. Later, we started giving out candy to neighborhood children before heading out to the Harvest Party, and finally, we went out into the neighborhood ourselves, trick or treating with our children. Now we love to sit in front of our home around our fire pit, greeting parents and children and giving out exorbitant amounts of candy! Many stop by and talk with us while their children make their way around our cul-de-sac.

I pray that this year will open the door to many of our neighbors and that perhaps the Lord will use this to help us get to know those in our communities. I would encourage you to consider how you might get to know your neighbors and their children. After all, genuine relationships are the bridge through which we are able to share the love of Christ with those around us.

I pray that you will experience the joy of the Lord as you seek to honor him!

Kenneth Maresco