Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
1. Take a pumpkin. "You aren't a pumpkin, but all of us are something like one. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins." Talk about how a pumpkin is like us: it has an outside and an inside. The outside is what people see. The inside is like our soul or our heart. A pumpkin left to itself will soon rot and die. We will die someday too."
2. Carve out eyes and a small "o" shaped mouth. As you make the holes and pull out the pieces of rind, ask people what they see inside (yucky stuff). "This is what we look like to others and what we are like when are hearts are not changed. The hearts of men are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live (Ecclesiastes 9:3). How can we get rid of this icky stuff?"
3. "God is the only one who can change our heart. But in order for God to change our heart we must become open to him." Carve an opening in the top of the pumpkin big enough to put your hand through. You might want to quote Revelation 3:20: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
4. Put in your hand and pull out the insides. "God scoops out all the yucky stuff inside of us. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, impurity, and greed." Talk about the cross and how Jesus was willing to become messy for us, so that we might be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:25b-27).
5. "But if we leave a pumpkin with just the insides taken out, then it's just hollow. We need to have a light inside that will truly make us alive! Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' Add a light to the inside of the pumpkin. "When Jesus lives inside of you, you can glow! You will want to be kind and honest. You will want to please God, to help others, and to tell other people about your Friend and Lord."
6. At this point you might want to carve the mouth into a smile! "God carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
Dear Lord we thank You for all You do for each of us. Today we pray that the light You put in each of us will shine brightly for the whole world to see. In Jesus’ name, Amen.