A Pumpkin Parable

Many of you will be carving pumpkins with your children in the next few days, so I wanted to encourage you to "make the most of every opportunity" to teach your children a spiritual truth. It will be easy to sneak it in while you are doing this fun family activity, and they will hardly notice that they are being taught a lesson. I have included a printable copy of this object lesson to make it easier for you.

I want to mention, right off the bat, that this idea is not original to me. I wish that I could say that I came up with it on my own, but I first heard about using a pumpkin to each a spiritual truth when my older children were still quite small, and wrote it into our family photo album (I used to do those scrap-book style albums).

A few years later I found a book called The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs that was so well written that I bought it and have read it to my children every year since then. I am going to use little bits and pieces of that book and some of my own adaptations to show you how you can tell your children the Pumpkin Parable - even if you don't have a book like this one to read to them. (If your children are preschoolers, highlight the most important concepts since their attention span for both the lesson and the carving will be limited. Also, try using just the key words of the verses.) I also want to mention that pumpkins are inanimate objects and cannot be "saved," so be careful not to suggest that about the pumpkin. It is nothing more than an object lesson.

It might go something like this:

Did you know that being a Christian is kind of like being this pumpkin?
You know how we went to the pumpkin patch and you picked out the pumpkin you wanted? In a way, God "picked" you! The Bible says:
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

 We brought it home and washed all of the dirt off the outside, kind of like God did for us.

"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name." Acts 22:16 NIV

Now we will take this knife and cut into the top of the pumpkin so that we can remove the top and get to the inside. The Bible says that God's Word does something like that - to our hearts!

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

Now that the top is removed, we can see inside of our pumpkin, just like God can see inside of  our hearts and minds.

"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind..." Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

What do you see? Look at all of those slimy seeds and pulp! What do you think that God sees when he looks into our hearts?

"We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind." Isaiah 64:6 NLT

If we ask God to, He will clean the sin out of our hearts - just like we are going to clean all of this slimy pulp out of this pumpkin!

"Create in me a clean heart, O God." Psalm 51:10 NKJV

Now lets wrap up this yucky stuff and take it to the dumpster. The Garbage truck will come and take this stuff far away from our house, just like God takes our sins far away from us.

"He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." Psalm 102:12 NLT

Now this pumpkin is going to get a happy new face to show how it has been cleaned out on the inside! God does this for us when He changes our heart - we get a new chance in life.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
"So all of us... can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord... makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT

The Bible says:
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light." Matthew 6:22 NIV

So lets give this pumpkin GOOD eyes.

Now lets give him a great big smile to show this new change inside.

"A glad heart makes a happy face." Proverbs 15:13 NLT

When we put this little candle inside our pumpkin and set it out on the porch at night, it will glow brightly and everyone will see our pumpkin's new face and know that it has been cleaned on the inside.

"God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6 NLT

We are supposed to be like this pumpkin and "shine" so that everyone will know that God has cleaned our hearts and changed our lives - and they will want God to do that for them, too.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

*You might not do it exactly this way. You might not even get through the whole thing with your children! But even if you do get in a few of the verses and ideas, God promises that your efforts will not be wasted.

"The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." Isa 55:10-11 NLT


imported mama said...

wha a great way to incorporate a biblical truth :-)

Ashley Pichea said...

I love the "teachable moments" you found to accompany the carving of your pumpkin! What a neat way to bring truth into Halloween!

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