Carving a Pumpkin . . .
Set newspapers on a table. Cut an opening in the top of the pumpkin. Pull out all of the seeds and scrape out the inside of the pumpkin. The stuff you pull out of the pumpkin is like the sin in our hearts (yucky, sticky, smelly). Our sin separates us from God, who is perfect and holy. The way you cleaned out the pumpkin is the way Jesus cleans out all of our sin when we confess/repent of our sins to Him and accept Him as our Saviour. He died on the cross for our sins. He paid the price for the sins that we have committed. Draw a happy face on your pumpkin, then use a sharp knife to carve it out. You have made your pumpkin into a "new creation". It is now a jack-o-lantern! The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 5:17 that we become "new creations" when we ask Jesus into our hearts. He removes all of the old "junk". Now light a candle and place it in the pumpkin. Turn off the room lights so that you can see the light coming through the pumpkin's face. In John 8:12 Jesus says "I am the light of the world". Just as the candle is shining out through your pumpkin for all to see, so also if we have Jesus living in our hearts, He will shine forth for all to see. Is Jesus living in your heart? If not, ask Him in now!!!
This year, while carving pumpkins as a family, you can incoporate these Biblical truths into your conversation with your children. Liz Curtis Higgs' book The Pumpkin Patch Parable is also an excellent book to read with your children during this season.
Other ideas for carving: For a Thanksgiving centerpiece, carve a leaf shape in two or three places on your pumpkin. A large cookie cutter will give you a good shape to draw around and then you could use a sharp knife to carve out the shape. Place a candle inside. Place your pumpkin in the center of your table along with some small pumpkins and gourds for a festive harvest display!