While choosing your pumpkin, note that there are all kinds and colors of pumpkins. Note how some are rotten, some dirty, some disfigured. Choose one and bring it home. On the way home, discuss the pumpkin patch of the world and how there are all kinds of people in it. Good, bad, pretty, ugly. But what they all have in common is that they were born sinners.
Read Psalm 51:5
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (KJV).
Read Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (KJV)
Note that even though you may have chosen this particular pumpkin based on a good characteristic, the pumpkin still has flaws. At this point, indicate how God chooses us and brings us into His family, washing off all the dirt that we got from being outside and around the other pumpkins. He washes us through baptism. Point out how God sees good in us even though we have flaws. God selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.
Read 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.
“Therefore come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.” (NKJV)
Cut off the top of the pumpkin and clean out all the seeds. Note that the insides are yucky, just like our hearts are before Jesus cleanses us. Set the seeds aside. Repentance is God's way of emptying our hearts of sin.
Read Romans 5:8
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (KJV)
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
When God reaches into our hearts and cleans out all of the “yuck” of sin- the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear, we are changed. Suddenly, we feel joy, peace, hope, and love.
Carve a happy face on the pumpkin.
Read Proverbs 15:13.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” (NIV)
1 Peter 1:8
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”(KJV)
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”(KJV)
Now that all the sin is emptied from our hearts, Jesus can fill us with the light of His Spirit, the Holy Ghost.
Light a candle and put it inside the pumpkin.
Read John 8:12
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (KJV)
“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (KJV)
2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (KJV)
This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. When Jesus, the Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. In this way, we share the light and love of Jesus to the world. They can see the wonderful change He has made in us.
Read Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NKJV)
1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”(KJV)
And remember all that yucky stuff?
Take the seeds, wash them and bake them following the recipe below. Jesus can take all the bad things in our lives-abuse, hurt, anger, loss, un-forgiveness- and turn it around so that is something good. Only Jesus can do such a transforming work!
Read Isaiah 61:3
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)
Toasted and salted, pumpkin seeds have a nutty flavor. They're even better flavored with sweet and savory spices.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you have removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes. (You may also spice it up with Cajun seasoning and Worcestershire sauce.)
4. Let cool and store in an airtight container.
This season when so many people are focused on the horrors of Halloween, let Halloween become Hallowed by acknowledging the transforming power of God and work in our lives.