Every year my wife buys pumpkins to decorate our front porch. Our girls always ask if we can carve the pumpkins but it seems like we never have time. The pumpkins usually get tossed in the trash sometime after Thanksgiving, never realizing their full potential.
This year we vowed to actually carve one, as our six year old insisted that she had never experienced a good ole fashion pumpkin carving. Last night we finally found the time and we sat out on our back porch and carved a pumpkin as a family. We enjoyed a fun evening filled with messy pumpkin insides, laughter, and a finished Jack-O-Lantern for our family to enjoy.
We also wanted to take the opportunity and use this time to teach our girls about God. Here is a great devotional that you can do with your family while turning that lonely little pumpkin sitting on your porch into something your family will be proud of. I hope you enjoy this devotional as much as our family did. More than anything, I hope you enjoy spending time with one another and being intentional about passing along your faith to your children!
Make sure you have the following on hand.
A large pumpkin and carving utensils
A small candle and matches
Follow these steps for a great experience
1. Conduct a typical pumpkin carving activity, but use each step as part of the overall “pumpkin parable” by adding Bible reading and questions.
2. First, have the children help with the clean out portion of the carving – reaching their hand into the open pumpkin to pull out seeds and other “gunk” that will feel yucky to their hands.
3. Pause to read Matthew 23:25-28 and ask the children how the inside “gunk” is like our sin (yucky, smelly, etc.).
4. Once you have cleaned out the pumpkin, read Revelation 3:20 together and explain that confessing our sins enables God to take away the “yuck” of our sinful hearts.
5. Now draw and carve a happy face (not a scary face) on the pumpkin. Then read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and/or Ephesians 2:10 and explain that Jesus wants to make us into a “new creation” – just as the pumpkin filled with yuck became a jack-o-lantern with a joy-filled face.
6. Now read Matthew 5:14-16 while lighting and inserting a candle into the jack-o-lantern and turn down the lights to show how God wants to use us to shine His light, even on what is normally a dark and scary night.