Before you begin, choose one of these two options:
- Make a paper version of The Pumpkin Prayer pumpkin. Point to its features as you speak. You can use the activity page from the Resource & Idea Center, if that’s convenient.
- Plan to carve a pumpkin with the children. Ahead of time, cut the shapes almost through - but not quite. That will make it easier to cut and speak at the same time.
Some people think about Halloween as a time to wear costumes and have fun. They dress up like SpongeBob. Or they pretend to be a Transformer. The costumes and candy of Halloween can be lots of fun.
Other people, though, think about Halloween as a time to celebrate darkness and fear. While others in our world are celebrating violence at Halloween, Christians celebrate the light and love and peace of Jesus. We remind each other of what the Bible says:
The LORD is my light and my salvation (Psalm 27:1 KJV).
Say those words with me. (Repeat the verse together several times.)
That’s a great verse to learn by heart!
There’s something else we can do, too. We can carve and display pumpkins that light the night with Jesus’ love. (Read The Pumpkin Prayer.)
Open my mind so I can learn about you.Some of you have brains stuffed with knowledge about Jesus. What do you know about him? (Let volunteers share ideas as you cut the top of the pumpkin open.) God is so good to let us learn about him!
Take away my sin and forgive the wrong that I do.(As you scoop out the “guts” of the pumpkin, ask the children about their need for forgiveness.) Sin is pretty icky, isn’t it? Can you name some icky sins? Do you know your sins are forgiven, that they are washed away? How did that happen? Yes, Jesus died on the cross for us. He was punished instead of us.
Open my eyes so your love I will see.(As you carve the heart-shaped eyes, ask the children about Jesus’ love.) How else does Jesus show his love for you? Look around. What does he give you? How does he help you?
I’m sorry for times I’ve turned up my nose at what you’ve given to me.(Carve the cross-shaped nose and remind the children about the cross of our Savior.) We sometimes think God should give us more blessings or different blessings. We are not very thankful. We are selfish. But God forgives even those very icky sins because of Jesus!
Open my ears so your Word I will hear.(As you carve the ears, talk about the blessing of God’s Word.) God tells us many wonderful things in his Book, the Bible. When do you hear God’s Word? Whenever and however that happens, we want to listen carefully to what God is telling us, don’t we?!
Open my mouth to tell others you’re near.(As you carve the mouth, ask about friends who don’t know Jesus or who need his comfort.) Do you know any worried people right now? Do you know anyone who is sad or afraid? Do you know anyone who has never heard that Jesus loves him or her? What could you say to somebody like that?
Let your light shine in all I say and do. (As you put the candle or glow stick inside the pumpkin, talk about witnessing in our actions.) We can talk about Jesus’ love and we can show Jesus’ love. How can you show Jesus’ love?
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, you are our light and our salvation. You are our Friend and Savior. Thank you, Jesus, for all you do for us and all you give to us. Help us shine the light of your love in everything we say and in everything we do. We pray in your name, dear Jesus. Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from the Ministry Message that accompanies one of CTA’s fall festival themes, The Pumpkin Prayer. CTA offers everything you need to plan your fall event! Check out the goodie bags and FREE event outline today!
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.