Friday, October 30, 2009

the pumpkin and the light

i have to tell you...i don't really like the whole "halloween" thing. i don't like ghosts and witches and spookiness. i don't like my kids paying any type of homage or awareness to the dark side...and yet, i still love the candy and dressing up side of things. it's hard to be a christian and not be an "overboard" christian.
so when i saw the pumpkin patch parable idea on "impress your kids", i was again reminded that there is a way to bring god's light out even during's what we did...of course, we didn't really follow the rules...if we did it wouldn't be us, so we modified! i edited the story i found and we grabbed our pumpkin from the front porch {aldi for $2}, our carving knives, a few big old spoons and the bible.

i read this aloud...and we read some scripture with each's what we did...and i have to say, it was the best pumpkin carving we've ever done...and in 15 minutes too!!

"being a christian is a lot like a pumpkin.
first, god picks us from the pumpkin patch {or grocery store in our case} and brings us in from the field {store}. the bible says he selects us out of the world. we are in the world, but no longer of the world. {we read psalm 51:10...that says, "create in a me a clean heart o god and renew a right spirit within me".}

he then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. all the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. old things are no longer there and everything becomes new.
we washed the pumpkin in the sink and got all the dirt and grime off.

then, god carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" from the inside. he then changes us from the inside out.
{we read ezekial 11:18-21...I've provided you a temporary sanctuary in the countries where you've gone. I will gather you back from those countries and lands where you've been scattered and give you back the land of Israel. You'll come back and clean house, throw out all the rotten images and obscene idols. I'll give you a new heart. I'll put a new spirit in you. I'll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you'll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!"}

god carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear and he replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. after jesus is invited insi
de your heart, you begin to experience the changing power of god's love in your if on cue, brooke says, 'i'm not touching that gross stuff. it's nasty and it looks bad. i don't want anything to do with that." what a great teaching moment. ryan explained how telling lies and being inconsiderate and hitting and not listening to mommy are just like the inside of the adds up inside us to make it all icky and stuff...and that's where jesus comes in and removes it all when we ask for his forgiveness. brooke says, "wow. that's good stuff."

then god carves a new smiling face on us. we are changed by the power of god's presence in our life. it even shows on our face!
{note brooke displaying her "happy face" that we should carve on the pumpkin...not sure we did that great of a job, but hey, good example!}
{we read 2 corinthians 3:18..."whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize th
at God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him."}

then we light a candle inside. the pumpkin now reflects the light from the inside out. just like when jesus lives inside of us, he shines through our
lives for all to see. we can let his light reflect through us to show people we have god's love. once we have jesus in our hearts, we christians are a lot like this pumpkin. we will never be the same with Jesus inside of us.
{we read matthew 5:16..."If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."}

so i guess in all of this, i pray that my kiddos will remember jesus in the midst of halloween...and in the midst of this absolutely terrible picture. {seriously now...this is the picture my hubs gets of the girls...what in the world???}
i love what amanda said in her blog...she says, "God knew people would use the pumpkin as something scary. And that his creation would be a symbol for a mostly evil holiday. And I think he put this symbolism together for this very purpose–to redeem it and remind us how He has redeemed us!"

having him in our hearts makes us shine...we are to shine in the dark...we are to shine before all men. so let's go shine! when you carve your pumpkins this year, remember the cleansing and the forgiveness...and the light that god offers each of us for the cost...of nothing but acceptance of him.
PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


DysFUNctional Mom said...

What a great way to do that - love it!

Mighty M said...

What a great analogy! Stopping by from SITS to wish you a happy Friday!! ;-)

Karen said...

Oooh, great lesson. I'll have to use it for my SS class this week. Sure, it's the day after Halloween, but they can relate.

Hayley @ When I Grow UP said...

I love this! I absolutely love this! And, I will be back to your blog. What a wonderful message and I think your photos are great too!!

oh amanda said...

Awesome! I love the scriptures you shared. So glad it was a great experience. Thanks again for linking to us!! :)

I just really believe, especially for the younger ones that this will be their FIRST experience with a pumpkin/jackolantern and the "object lesson" will be the first thing that pops into their minds--not the scary halloween stuff!!

Shelle said...

Hi. Just love this witness, we don't do halloween at all, but I hope my hubby would consider this so that we can let our light shine a little brighter.

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

Great post. I used the parable of the pumpkin with my teenage Sunday school class last year using that scripture in Matthew - "ye are the light of the world..." It was really well received. Thanks for sharing this idea. :)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

This is a great idea. I have a real problem with Halloween myself. I'm not a big fan of it and don't like when kids dress up as devils, etc. I never celebrated it growing up, but I let my son go to our church's trunk-n-treat and trick-or-treating with his cousins.

Michelle said...

You made it work for you and that is great. :)

Happy, non dark side Halloween. :)

Meaghan said...

that is seriously awesome! i can't wait to do this with the boys!

He & Me + 3 said...

I love this too. I think it is a great way to bring Christ into this what most people make into a dark scary day.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I absolutely LOVE how God redeems things that the world means for evil. I plan on doing a whole pumpkin party/theme for LB next year, since she'll be older and more aware of what others are into.

Great pics, thanks for sharing them and the story. Love you!

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Nice analogy.. I kept thinking before you were done.. the light thing..

And it does! It looks JUST LIKE HER! :)

Megan said...

I love that!! Thanks for sharing it! =)

Lindsay said...

LOVE this. Post this next year before Halloween again - please!