A parable is a simple story that illustrates a spiritual lesson. Jesus used them throughout scripture to make spiritual truth more understandable for those listening. The ultimate story is of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. We can take this amazing true story and teach its truth throughout the year by connecting it to our everyday activities. The Halloween season is a great opportunity to make this beautiful truth come to light.
Items needed: a large pumpkin and carving utensils, a small candle OR an electric tea light, and a Bible.
Use the activity of carving a pumpkin with your children to illustrate how Jesus forgives our sin, cleans out our hearts, puts his joy inside us and allows us to shine his light.
- Carve the pumpkin with your children. First, have them help you clean out the yucky pumpkin guts. The smell and feel of the inside of the pumpkin will probably evoke an ‘ewww, gross’ response.
- READ Matthew 23:25-28, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” – ASK: How is the inside of this pumpkin like our sinfulness?
- After you finish cleaning out the pumpkin, READ 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” SAY: Just like we cleaned out this pumpkin, God cleans out our hearts. This verse says that if we tell Jesus that we have sinned, then he will clean away our sin and give us right standing before him.
- Carefully carve a happy face onto your pumpkin. The goal is to actually carve into the pumpkin so that the light will shine out of it in the next step. READ 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
- SAY: We created a new pumpkin by cleaning out the yucky insides and carving a happy face. This is a new creation, a jack-o-lantern, with a joy-filled face. Jesus does that with us. He cleans our sinful heart and puts his joy inside us. We are a new creation!
- Put the candle inside the pumpkin and light it or insert the tea light and turn it on. READ Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” SAY: God wants us to shine his light on everyone around us, just like this jack-o-lantern shines its light into the dark night. When we shine for Jesus, others see that light. ASK: How can we shine our lights for God?
- SAY this with me – “On a dark night, we will shine Jesus’ light!”
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