** Read this story aloud to your children while cleaning out and carving a pumpkin.**
First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.
He then washes all the “dirt” off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.
Then, He carefully removes all the “yucky stuff” called “sin” out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power. He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That’s why it is important to go the church and learn about God’s Word.
He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God’s love in your life.
Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!
Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. “Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”
So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us.
The Meaning of the 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!
or here is a shorter version
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."
You can buy the book by Liz Curtis Higgs to read the entire story.