Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Parties

 I know lots of Christians don't celebrate Halloween.  We don't celebrate the dark and scary side of things, but do take part in the fun and festive things about this time of year.
Last night we went to a pumpkin carving party.  It was a family affair and one that my kids wholeheartedly were into this year. 
 It was the first time that my eight-year-old son designed and carved his own pumpkin completely on his own, and the first year my five-year-old drew her own designs.  The three-year-old very intently worked on scooping out the insides for everyone.
And I had fun helping the girls cut out their cute little faces.  This is another one of those ways that creativity brings joy and bonding for families and friends.   Sometimes I put it off because it feels like it's going to be messy and a lot of work.  But once you're in the middle of it, you realize you're having so much fun, and making a party out of it is even better. 
At the end of the night many of the pumpkins were lined up and lit inside to see the beautiful designs.  Pretty cool aren't they?  The kids then played and the parents chatted.  It was a fun way to kick off this weekend of celebrations.
Here is our little collection at home, with our dog Bella making a cameo appearance.  :)  She's actually wondering what it is I'm doing out here.

To bring this activity back to our faith and to make it a teachable moment, a friend gave me this pumpkin carving devotional.  In case anyone else would like to do this, I'll copy it here.

You Are God's Pumpkin 
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden 

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, "If you boast, boast only about the Lord." —1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NLT) 

For most of the country, the crisp cool air of autumn is upon us. A sure sign of autumn is that Christmas decorations are popping up everywhere in retail stores. Halloween costumes and disguises are selling out in stores as trick-or-treaters are ready to take over the streets. A popular symbol of both harvest time and Halloween is the pumpkin. I was thinking recently that being a Christian is a lot like being a pumpkin. Perhaps you are visualizing this orange, round vegetable and wondering how you could ever be compared to one of these squashes! Simply put, like a child chooses a pumpkin to carve and mold an image upon, so God carves and molds His own unique design in you.

The Scriptures tell us that the Lord chooses us. He lifts us up and washes the dirt from our skin. Then he opens us, connecting deep inside to scoop out all the slimy, yucky stuff, including seeds of doubt, spite, lies, and fear. Then He carves a new creation, and makes our faces shine by putting His light inside for all to see.

Sometimes I feel like I don't want my light to shine because I am ashamed of a thought or action or pattern in my life. I try to hide the light Christ has put in me, and blend in with the crowd. What I forget is that when God carved me, created me, and gave me His Son, I no longer had to count on my own strength. I can count on the Lord's. It is He who washes me clean; it is He who gives me a spirit of strength and perseverance; it is He who makes me pure; it is He who frees me from sin; and it is He who gives me hope. When I realize that my part of the equation is to rely on His strength and power, then I can do as Scriptures say, and shine His light through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What starts as an everyday squash turns into a lantern of light. What starts as an everyday person turns into a beacon of hope for all to see. Through our union with Christ, we are given the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit who enters and dwells in our lives. It is He who picked you out and carved you just the way He wants you. So make sure you keep your lantern lit for all to see.


1. What sins are in your life that you need to release and allow the Lord to scoop out for you?
2. Each time you see a pumpkin this autumn, think through why it is so important for you to be a vessel of light representing our Lord.

FURTHER READING: Psalm 19:7-10; Colossians 2:3

May you have a blessed weekend with your family, celebrating and enjoying this harvest season.

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