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The Pumpkin Gospel helps us bring the light of Christ back to October with this Christian object lesson for the season of Halloween. Use a pumpkin to illustrate how through Christ we can get a new face and let His light shine through us! This pumpkin Bible lesson is a great Halloween alternative!
We, as a family, chose not to celebrate Halloween. However, we did want our kids to know that Christians have fun, and October 31st is a day that the Lord has made. This was a fun Christian object lesson to do with them. We can rejoice and be glad in it in a way that glorifies our Heavenly Father!
We also had treasure hunts with Scriptures and treats. We had special movie nights. We went to Christian Fall Festivals and other Halloween alternatives.
But one of the most memorable times was when we used Liz Curtis Higg's Pumpkin Patch Parable and a pumpkin to illustrate the change that Jesus Christ brings into our life. The following is a Christian object lesson with the powerful message of the Gospel; we call it "The Pumpkin Gospel"!
Object: One real pumpkin
Bible truth: We become a new creation through Jesus and can let His light shine in and through our lives.
John 8:12 "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
Matthew 5:14-16 "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."
Bible songs: "This Little Light of Mine"; "Shine, Jesus, Shine"
Christian Object lesson: A Picture of Salvation
If you have the book, read it as you carve the pumpkin. It has Scriptures throughout the book and a wonderful story. It can be ordered through Christianbook.com:
|The Pumpkin Patch Parable, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Parable Series #1
By Liz Curtis Higgs / Tommy Nelson
This charming story for children illustrates how a loving farmer can turn a simple pumpkin into a simply glorious sight. Liz Curtis Higgs weaves a beautiful parable as the farmer picks out a special pumpkin from his garden, and scoops out all the messy "goo" to make room for his light to shine from inside. In the same way, God's transforming love can fill each of our hearts with joy and light. Liz Cutis Higgs originally created this parable as a way to share the Good News with her own precious children each harvest season. After 10 years, she has touched children everywhere! Recommended for ages 3 to 7.
Carve an actual pumpkin to share the Pumpkin Gospel message. We'll be doing it more than once for our church's Pumpkin Festival; so we are going to reuse a single pumpkin several times by replacing the carved pieces and turning the carved side away from the kids each time as we present the lesson.
Hint: If you plan to carve your pumpkin early, remove the seeds & pulp and place in a bag in the refrigerator to keep it from smelling.
As you cut the pumpkin open and pull the "yucky" pulp out, tell how this is a picture of how God takes us and cleanses us from all our sin - casting them as far as the east is from the west.
The carving of the eyes, nose, and SMILING face, represents how God makes us a new creation.
Then as you put the light into the pumpkin, remind them that Christ comes into our lives as a light and can shine through us into a dark world.
Encourage them through the month of October to remember the Pumpkin Gospel and the light of Christ every time they see a carved pumpkin and how we as Christians should be letting His light shine through our lives.
Remember - October 31st is the day our LORD, Jesus Christ, has made. It is His beauty and light that we celebrate!
(Based on Liz Curtis Higgs' book - for those that do not have the book. The book is so much fun to read though; I recommend getting a copy. Liz has such a special way of writing, and there is such a rhythm to the story. She has also added a Scripture on every page!)
Today I want to tell you a story. It's a special story called a 'parable'. A parable is an earthly story that has a heavenly meaning. In the Bible there are many parables that Jesus told so we could understand His teachings better.
This is a story about a farmer and a pumpkin.
The Farmer lives wa-a-a-a-ay out in the country. On his farm He has a pumpkin patch.
Pumpkins are really special. They start out as small oval seeds that grow into big, orange pumpkins. The farmer plants the seeds, waters, and cares for the pumpkin vines and patiently waits as they grow.
Finally by October there are big, orange pumpkins in his pumpkin patch! Some are tall and lean, some are short and round, and some have bumps and lumps. But they are all pumpkins and all were planted and cared for by the Farmer.
One day the Farmer chose a pumpkin for a special project. He brings it in from the field and washes it off. You have to be careful with pumpkins; they're tough on the outside, but if you drop them, they break into pieces!
The Farmer takes a large knife and cuts a hole in the top of the pumpkin. Inside there is yucky, slimy pulp waiting for Him. It has to go! He cleans it all out and throws it away - never to be seen again.
After that He gives the pumpkin a new face! He cuts two triangles for eyes, a square for a nose, and a big, wide smile!
Then He does something really special. He puts a small white candle down inside the pumpkin and lights the wick.
How that pumpkin glows! As people pass by, they see the smiling pumpkin and smile back. They know that once again the Farmer has taken a simple pumpkin and changed it into a glorious sight!
The Meaning of the Pumpkin Gospel Parable:
Just like us, all the pumpkins were different. But there was something the same about every one of them - that yucky, slimy pulp on the inside!
The yucky, slimy pulp is like the sin that's in us. Romans 3:23 says: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." That's every single one of us.
God has made a way that all our sin can be forgiven and washed away. God even says He'll cast them as far as the East is from the West. Romans 5:8 says: "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
John 3:16 goes on to say: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."
After cleaning out that pumpkin, the Farmer gave the pumpkin a new face! The Bible says God can make us a new creation too.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Then came the really special part. The light was placed inside that pumpkin and it glowed for all to see!
2 Corinthians 4:6 says: "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
And Matthew 5:16 says: "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
So we can become like that pumpkin in the Christian object lesson - a glorious sight for others to see the love of Jesus!
You can also create small, orange, pumpkin-shaped tracts with the A,B,C's of Salvation to pass out after the Pumpkin Gospel:
A - ADMIT Admit to God that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). Repent, turning away from your sin (Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9)
B - BELIEVE Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin (Romans 5:8; Acts 4:12; John 3:16; John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-13).
C - CONFESS Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
© Copyright 2011 Susan Smart
Use a painted-face pumpkin to teach a Christian object lesson that is great for youth or adults as well. Point out that this pumpkin wasn't cut open to make a new face; therefore this pumpkin is still filled with "slimy-pulp." Also, no light has been put into this pumpkin to shine out to others.
Relate that many people try to make their own "Christian face" through doing good things and "looking" the part. However, we must be willing to surrender to Christ and allow Him to cleanse us from sin before we can experience a true change in our life giving us - new nature, a new life, a new beginning. Only then can the light of Christ shine in and through us.
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
© Copyright 2011 Susan Smart
The Pumpkin Prayer
Dear God, As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about You; (Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see; (Cut the eyes out in heart shapes)
I'm so sorry for turning up my nose to all you've given me. (Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so your word I will hear. (Cut the ears shaped like the Bible)-we did rectangles
Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near (cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen. (Place a candle inside and light it)
Christian object lessons like the Pumpkin Gospel are an excellent way to help the Bible come to life for not only small children, but also youth and even adults!
More Christian Object Lessons...
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