This messy, but fun, activity of pumpkin carving and putting a light inside will leave a great impression on kids! It will speak to them about how God removes our sins so that his light can shine through us!
– Medium-size pumpkin
– Large kitchen spoon
– Large cutting knife or pumpkin-carving tools
– Pumpkin light or small flashlight
– Dark marker
1. It’s better to carve the pumpkin the night before, then put the innards back inside, put the top back on, and keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to leave for class. After the lesson, you can take the pumpkin home again and use it as part of your holiday decorations (though it’s better to light it early in the week and wait until Saturday, Halloween. Carved pumpkins tend not to last as long.)
2. After you carve eyes and a smile, replace them in the carving holes.
3. Lay down newspaper on the teaching table and put the pumpkin on top, along with the spoon, carving tools, and pumpkin light
Here is a story about Tommy the Pumpkin. Point to Tommy. Tommy went to Christian school. But he didn’t know Jesus. His mom did. His dad did. His brother did. He just had never asked Jesus to come into his heart.
One day in Sunday school, Tommy decided to do this. It would be a good thing, he decided. Everyone who had Jesus in their hearts kept saying their lives were better.
After the teacher spoke with him to Jesus in a prayer of faith, he did feel better. At least, he suddenly felt aware of things he had been doing that suddenly didn’t seem quite right.
Turn the pumpkin after taking the lid off, and start spooning its insides onto the newspaper.
He felt bad about things he had done, like being mean to his little brother, just because he was older and knew he was more powerful.
He felt bad about turning games of play with the family dog into pet bullying and terror.
He especially felt bad about how quickly his dog would forgive him and want to be friends again.
He felt bad about writing “I hate you” letters to a teacher he didn’t get along with, even though he had never sent them. He just started to see that the teacher had problems too, and it was really nothing personal with him.
He felt bad about never saying “thank you” to Mom for making dinner every night and for never seeing how much she really did around the house.
He felt bad for not saying “thank you” to Dad for their special fishing trips. He had always taken it for granted that he was pleasant to be around, and his dad just wanted his company.
But maybe he hadn’t been so pleasant. He often came to the dinner table with a frown about homework or not having a friend to play with that day.
He felt bad about how much complaining he had done. Suddenly, with a happier soul, it was clear to him that he had surely done a lot of that.
Keep spooning until all the guts are on the table.
Well, maybe I’m just not a person who is naturally happy, he told himself one day. I do feel better, not having all these sins in my life. I am thankful that Jesus took them from me.
But – I feel – empty. I don’t pick on the dog or my brother. I don’t torment my parents with a lot of problems they can’t solve. I don’t laugh with kids in school when they are being mean. I know what I don’t have, and what I don’t feel. But it’s like there’s nothing to replace it with.
He decided to talk to his mom about this one night. She said, “Tommy, it’s a very good thing to give your life to Jesus. But then, you have to let him fill you. He can fill you with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He can fill you with the light of God!
“It’s not unusual to feel a little different, or maybe not even as good, when you first give your heart to Christ. He has started to empty your spirit of those negative things.”
Push the eyes, nose and mouth out of the pumpkin that you pre-carved.
“But he will be filling you with God’s light and eternal blessings.”
Put the pumpkin light inside of Tommy.
“Keep trusting him and relying on him. You will find that his light will shine through you, and before long, you will know exactly what it means to be a “new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “‘ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!'”
“Hey!” Tommy suddenly thought. “I bet Mollee would like to go for a walk. Hey. We don’t walk her enough Mom!”
“I’m sure Mollee would love to go for a walk,” Mom beamed. “And you know what else? I bet your little brother would love to go too! I heard there’s a new family moving into the neighborhood. Maybe God will bless you for your thoughtfulness, and you’ll find a new friend to hang out with while you’re out.”
Tommy sensed he had a long way to go before he was a strong Christian. But he also sensed God’s presence like never before, and he was sure God would walk with him every day from here on in.
You might also be interested in these other Pumpkin activity ideas!