Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Jack-O-Lantern Gospel Story

A Christian tradition has started, in recent years, of telling the gospel story while carving a pumpkin. It goes something like this:

On the outside a pumpkin looks good and strong and beautiful. But, after cutting off the top, we look inside and see that it is full of slimy gunk. Similarly, on the outside, we may look good, but God can see inside our heart. "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b).

All of us have "gunk" inside. The Bible tells us, "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). As we remove the inside of the pumpkin, we can share the Good News! The Bible teaches, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). God can make us clean on the inside! As we carve a happy face on the pumpkin, we are reminded that we should smile and be thankful for God's great goodness and love. ,he Bible says: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:5).

As we place a candle or a light inside the pumpkin, we can explain that Jesus doesn't want to leave us empty inside; He wants to fill our hearts with His love and His light. "For God, who said, `Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts" (2 Corinthians 4:6a). And remember, we need to let our light shine for others to see, so they too can know Heaven's eternity. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

"I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Allison Adams

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