The Pumpkin ParableTurn a typical pumpkin carving activity into an intentional faith conversation with younger children using the following steps. Ask the oldest child to read the longer passages of scripture.

1. Conduct a typical pumpkin carving activity, but use each step as part of the overall “pumpkin parable” by adding the Bible reading and questions in steps 2 through 6 below.

2. First, have the children help with the clean out portion of the carving—reaching their hand into the open pumpkin to pull out seeds and other “gunk” that will feel yucky to their hands.

3. Pause to read Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3:23 and ask the children how the inside “gunk” is like our sin (yucky, smelly, etc.).

4. Once you have cleaned out the pumpkin, read I John 1:9 together and explain that confessing our sins enables God to take away the “yuck” of our sinful hearts.

5. Now draw and carve a cross on the pumpkin. Then read II Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 2:10 and explain that Jesus wants to make us into a “new creation”. Read these two scriptures that emphasize the power of what Jesus did for us on the cross: John 3:16 and Romans 5:8

6. Now read Matthew 5:14–16 while lighting and inserting a candle into the pumpkin and turn down the lights to show how God’s light shines bright in a dark world.

7. Memorize Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Going Further: Visit the Faith-Filled Holidays page to download a guide to this and other ideas to use throughout the holiday season. You can also download the free Intentional Holidays episode of our podcast and a holiday memory book template for the kids.