Pumpkin painting can be a little messy, but it’s also a lot of fun! Lay down newspapers and have a ball teaching kids about our partnership with God – using paints – in this pumpkin object lesson. (He gives us our bodies; we decide whether we will have a smile or a scowl on our faces!)
- Small pumpkins or gourds; one for each student
- Craft paint
- Happy Pumpkins Worksheet
- Wash all of the pumpkins.
- Lay newspaper down on the tables.
- Do not pass out the items the rest of the items or they will distract the children. Wait until you get to the point (see mini-sermon) when you want them to begin working.
Let’s pretend this pumpkin is you, and I am the Lord. Cradle one of the pumpkins lovingly in your hand. Speak to the pumpkin. Hi, there! I love you. I want us to be friends. I am giving you a great gift to start off. It is called the gift of life. Blow into the pumpkin’s pretend-mouth.
Gasp. Wow! You are alive! Now, I want you to know that you can call on me at any time.
I also want you to know that we will have what is called a partnership. That means that I do some things, and you do some things. True friendship is a partnership. If we’re going to be close friends, that means we each have to do our part. Can we shake on that? “Okay!” Pretend to shake the pumpkin’s hand.
Here is the deal. I have given you life and love. I will give you days of great joy. I will protect you from harm when you don’t even realize. I will watch over you when you sleep.
But my son Jesus has said, “In this world, you will have tribulation.”
That means that some days, life will test your faith. You can choose to be unhappy. Or you can choose to “make lemonade out of your lemons.”
To the class: Does anyone know what that saying means, to “make lemonade out of lemons?” Who can explain it to the Little Pumpkin. Take answers. It means to find joy and the “up” side in all situations.
A wise man once said that in every gloomy, frustrating, disappointing, or scary situation, there are great gifts to be found. Apostle Paul said it like this in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Your job in our partnership is to not lose faith in me. To do that, you need to find the gifts and look for ways to get your joy back when tribulation strikes.
That’s it! I have given you a body and a life. I will protect you, love you, listen to you, lead you, guide you, and bring you into my Kingdom someday as a real living being. Until then, what sort of a face are you going to wear?
Paint your pumpkin so the students can see. Use one of the examples at the top of the lesson if needed. Show your children the final product.
And this lesson illustrates our own lesson with God. He has given us so much. When tribulation arises, what sorts of Christians are we going to be? Are we going to fuss and complain and blame? Or are we going to find ways to have joy and keep our faith when a bad thing happens?
Draw a face on your own pumpkin, and let’s talk about this.
As children are drawing, call on them to think of “tribulations” or circumstances that can be very hard. Then, ask what good can come from those new situations. Here is an example:
YOU FIND OUT YOU HAVE TO MOVE. YOU KNOW YOU WILL MISS YOUR FRIENDS AND TEACHERS.
Good: You might get great new friends whom you like even more; your new house might be better for you; you can turn over a new leaf
Hand out the Happy Pumpkins Worksheet for children to complete the lesson.