Did you carve a pumpkin for Halloween? When my children were little, we would gather around the kitchen table to carve the pumpkin. It was quite a family affair. Everyone would take a turn doing something. Needless to say, we had some very unique pumpkins. When my children got older, they each wanted their own pumpkin to carve because they wanted to create their own design. Every year we would have two new unique creations that honestly expressed the creator’s personality.
When my children started carving their own pumpkin faces, I realized I had lost my job. I needed something to do in order to stay engaged in the activity but out of the artistic expression going on before me. You don’t teach elementary school for long without seeing how anything and everything can be turned into a teachable moment. Since I had a captive audience (hence, they wouldn’t leave in the midst of their carving), I took the opportunity to share a message with them as they created their masterpieces.
Just as Sam and Laura chose the face they would create and the pumpkin they would use to do it, Christ chose us [Ephesians 1:4]. In order to create what they desired, they had to cut away part of the pumpkin and remove the nasty stuff from the inside and dispose of it as the Lord smooths the hard places and removes sin from our lives in order to shape us as He desires us to be [Psalm 103:12]. After removing the slimy guts from the pumpkin, they would clean it so they could have a clear canvas to begin their masterpiece just as the Lord cleanses us [Psalm 51:2]. Their personality would be reflected in what they created just as we reflect the Lord in our lives [Genesis 1:26]. They would take an ordinary pumpkin and make it into something comical or artistically unique. It wouldn’t look anything like it had before. Christ does the same with us when we accept Him into our lives we become a new creation [2 Corinthians 5:17]. Finally, they would put a light into their jack-o-lanterns to shine through the faces for all to see just as we’re to let the Light of Christ shine through us in a dark and hurting world [Matthew 5:16, 2 Corinthians 4:6]. Years later I found a book about the legend of the jack-o-lantern that told the same message I shared with my children. Apparently, another teacher felt compelled to write it down. That’s the beauty of the message of Christ. It’s meant to be shared.
Whether you’ve already carved your pumpkin or not, take time to share the message of Christ through the story of a pumpkin. If you don’t have children or they’ve grown up and left home already, I happen to know you’ll have lots of little ones popping in for a visit tonight, no matter how brief. If you don’t feel their visit will be last long enough to share the story with them, you can always type it up and attach it to the candy you’ll be handing out. After all, we’re called to let our light shine. Happy Halloween!