Devotion: How is Carving a Pumpkin Like Being a Christian?


I used to be completely against acknowledging anything about Halloween. When I learned the true origins based in Paganism, I was convinced that by joining in any of the traditions, I would be condoning paganism, and opening myself to demonic activity. (I do feel that, at this time in my life, I gave way too much credit and attention to evil, even while praying about it)

Christian Pumpkin Devotions

Until I had children. Especially children who loved to dress up like princesses. I was torn about whether to let them take part inwhat they see as fun, dress-up, eating candy. Would we go to the church Fall Festival, or avoid it altogether? I decided that I would not let the enemy have the power to steal my daughters’ joy over something they didn’t understand. By giving him credit he does not deserve and making my girls feel left out, I may just be fueling the fire of rebellion later. Now, there is something to teaching them that we do not completely fit in this world. It’s true that we are in but not of the world. But I don’t know that my kids have the intellectual capacity to understand this yet.

So we don’t celebrate with witches, superstition, black cats, ghosts, etc. We do dress up in girly costumes, and go to the Fall Festival and get candy. I let them dress up at school and dance class, because that is really all it is to them~dressing up.

It’s an age-old question in the faith community: Should Christians celebrate Halloween? I found a great article dealing with the origins of Halloween and the issues of Christians celebrating it. They compare it to the issue in the Bible of eating meat sacrificed to idols. They also raise the question I was thinking about last week about Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree was originally part of a festival to a fertility god. Does this mean that if we have a Christmas Tree, we are worshiping the fertility god? No, because of it’s cultural context. That being said, I do know of Christians who don’t have Christmas Trees, for this reason. It is a matter of personal conviction.

When my girls wanted to carve pumpkins, I was thrilled to find this devotion using a pumpkin.

Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin! Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)

 

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

He then washes all the “dirt” off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the “yucky stuff” called “sin” out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power. He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That’s why it is important to go the church and learn about God’s Word.

He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God’s love in your life.

Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. “Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”

So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us. We can say like this jack-o-lantern, “Thy presence, my light!”

You can also use this prayer in conjunction with it. You can also have them draw pictures of their pumpkin and share the gospel with their friends. We love to do this each year after the pumpkins have outlived their outdoor decorating potential.

pumpkins

{cut off top of pumpkin}
Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}
Remove the things in my life that don’t please you.
Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}
Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}
I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}
Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}
Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do. Amen

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, and any fun ideas to turn the focus on Jesus.


About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. bennettaj says:

    Thank you for the post, that’s a fantastic way to look at Halloween.

    [Reply]

  2. I love Halloween, I’m all about cute-Halloween, not scary Halloween.

    While I am not Pagan, but I would like to note that Paganism does not equate devil worship or satanism…its a nature based religion that worships the Goddess, or the divine feminine.

    Originally a “witch” was simply a wise woman of the village, which was vilified by the church to restore patriarchal rule. Women who were known as wise women or healers were burned. The words “wit” and “wisdom” have the same linguistic roots as witch. Unfortunately, most of the true scary stuff had more to do with the atrocities committed killing hundreds of innocent women than with actual demons, vampires, monsters & other scary “Halloween” creatures. Samhain was originally simply just a harvest festival.

    [Reply]

  3. that was so great! I used to be that mom too, (though I never thought of it giving Satan credit. That’s a GREAT perspective! WOW! Thanks!) but we eventually came around to the whole Halloween thing because we saw the rebellion it could lead to. We do, attempt though, to thread God into anything we can and this devotion was PERFECT!

    [Reply]

  4. MorningSong says:

    Thanks for sharing this!! I go back and forth with the dress up thing. We dressed my daughter up her first halloween in a pumpkin sweat suit (at our church fair) and I felt awful. She didn’t know what was going on and didn’t need to dress up. From then on we didn’t dress up either of our kids. Then last year I let her wear a princess dress to our church festival and there were SO many who dressed up too. I still feel torn but love the story and prayer for pumpkin carving. I never have pumpkins b/c I wasn’t sure of the story behind it. We will be going to a pumpkin patch in a few weeks. I now look forward to sharing this time with our friends and maybe sharing God’s word too!!

    blessings!

    [Reply]

  5. I really agree with you. It bums me out when other Christians make this a reason to look down on other Christians. If you choose not to celebrate it, good for your family. But to those of use who do, it doesn’t make us less Christian.

    I think we can find the good in the holiday and let our kids enjoy it. Leave the scary out and let the fun happen :)

    [Reply]

  6. What a great way to look at this, that’s how great family traditions start.

    [Reply]

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. I am struggling with this very issue as I do not want to acknowledge Halloween or teach my children they are missing out because they don’t go trick or treating. However, my husband is carving pumpkins with the kids and I was really having an issue with it until coming across you blog. Thanks for the difference yet rational perspective.

    [Reply]

  8. ~ Melody ~ says:

    A fabulous post and I wished I had read it before carving our pumpkins. We choose to have Halloween fun, but my boys have never equated it to anything evil or anti-Christ. It’s just fun dress-up, pretend and tons of candy. :)

    I love reading your inspirational thoughts. Thanks so much.

    [Reply]

  9. Thanks for that. I have been looking and looking for this story about christians and pumpkins. I am planning to submit it for our church newsletter for October.

    [Reply]

  10. marilyn4him says:

    Thanks so much for the Devotion. I was looking for a devotion to share with my parenting class. This was just what I needed.

    [Reply]

  11. foggymorning says:

    I use to feel the pull of whether to participate with this time of year or not. Then after some knee time I felt a peace about using this time of year to witness to people. I am not a bold person when talking to strangers about Christ. So I put the “Christians are like pumpkins” poem in treatbags with pumpkins on them and hand them out that night. I don’t have to approach the strangers to witness, I let the strangers come to me. Our house is decorated with pumpkins and lights. Our family prays over the bags before handing them out. So this time of year can be a great way to spread some good news (gospel)! God bless

    [Reply]

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing that. We have 2 children and when the oldest was 6 my husband and I were saved, we decided not to celebrate Halloween
    we did go to the Harvest festivals which still caused much confusion for me. I feel as though this is one area(though there were others) that caused rebellion in our oldest. I wish I had researched this more and walked more in grace than under the law. I agree with morningsong, to use this as an opportunity to share the Gospel with family, friends and anyone God happens to lead to us this weekend,while still being in this world and not of it. My pastors wife forwarded this to me.
    Thanks, SC.

    [Reply]

  13. Are there pagan roots to Halloween? Yes. But the same is true for Christmas and Easter. The church was basically jealous that pagans had a festival at the winter solstice, so they decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus at that same time on the calendar. In spring, pagans celebrated the equinox. Easter approximates the time of their festival, and the traditions blended together. Ever hide Easter eggs? Kids ever ask what that has to do with Jesus? Eggs symbolize fertility and new life, which is what pagans celebrate during the spring. Rabbits? Come on, they multiply. Instead of the “birds and the bees” we could be teaching the “chicken eggs and the bunny rabbits.”

    Christians took what had been pagan festivals and made them about Jesus (holy days). Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day; that one just didn’t transition as well for Christians outside the Catholic Church. And any Christian that thinks Satan is honored by a 5-year-old dressed like a transformer begging for candy is off their gourd.

    [Reply]

    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    Very true. It’s kinda the point of the article. Although, I don’t think the church was jealous. As I study the history, the church was looking for ways to reach out to the pagans, so they incorporated their rituals into Christian Holidays. Misguided? Yes, but I think the motives weren’t nearly as nefarious as jealousy.

    [Reply]

    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    I just went to go check out your blog. Love it!

    [Reply]

  14. sue johnston-conrad says:

    First of all…thanks for the great ideas. I have taught SS for 20 years (all different ages) and each year have had to deal with questions regarding the appropriateness of a “halloween lesson”. Any lesson dealing with the “innards” of the pumpkin has always been a hit with kids…

    I would like to make some comments: I do find it “interesting” that while Halloween is not appropriate to some, the term Harvest Festival is. Granted it can be used in a Christian setting, but many Harvest Festivals from around the world are based on a non-Christian diety being thanked for a bountiful havest. Thanksgiving (in America at least) started out as a religious celebration and then became secular.

    On the other hand, in the old testament (in a Christian Bible), there is Sukkot, which has its roots in the harvest celebration, but became a religious festival. I have used it to teach old testament lesson, and while it is not tachnically Christian, it is a good way to teach the history of the Hebrews which in turn leads us to the New Testament of Christ. It leads well into teaching Exodus as the booths or decorations are built to remind people of the fraile dwellings that the people had during the 40 years of wandering.

    I guess my point is, that as with so many things, holidays and festivals can have one reason for beginning and then evolve over time into something totally different. So I would say, that as Christians, maybe we should realize that celebrations may have originated in a non-Christian arena, but still can be used in our Christian lives. Christianity throughout its history has more than once taken a pagan celebration/holiday and transformed it into something palatable to followers.

    Like others that have posted, I have never seen witches, etc as the target of adoration and/or worship during halloween. I see them as symbols, often supplied by marchandising, etc of the season. Much like how Christmas symbols like the tree was transformed from a Pagan symbol to a much accepted symbol of what as Christians we celebrate as the birthday of Christ.

    Okay, enough babbling…just wanted to say that often the symbol of certain holidays have not as they originated…like an earlier poster, I feel that our “intent” is more important than the actual symbolism…

    Please…believe me when I saw that this post was not to inflame, etc..just some interesting points that I wanted to make. thanks again for your info..I plan on tweaking it a bit to use with my middle-schoolers. sue

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    I know this is a bit past the time you posted this, just discovered this article. Anyway, I love Sukkot (or The Feast of Tabernacles, or The Feast of Booths, or… anyway moving on). It is one of three mandate festivals for Jews from God (through Moses) and as you can imagine, there was a lot of celebration at the Messianic Jewish congregation I frequent as we erected our Sukkah at the beginning of Sukkot, and a big feast at the end of Sukkot. It isn’t just Jews, or Messianic Jews that celebrate Sukkot, there are protestant/gentile believers and denominations that celebrate it by various names that it is called in the Bible (like some of the ones mentioned already). Additionally, our Thanksgiving was based off of Sukkot. However one thing isn’t clear to me. While there is a bit of a harvesting aspect to Sukkot (Lev. 23:40) I don’t understand how it has it’s roots in “the harvest celebration.” Unless we are to believe that God took his cues from something else that I am unaware of, it seems that it was/is rooted in following God’s instructions, remembering how he brought them out of the wilderness by constructing sukkahs (booths) and so on. I am also a bit confused about how something in the First Covenant (old testament) isn’t technically “Christian” but that is a larger discussion. It seems that your saying, that because God based his Feast of Tabernacles on some harvest celebration, that provides justification for his faithful to celebrate a day that is based on something else. Who am I to tell people whether they celebrate halloween or not, all I’m saying is that I have never heard of God basing Sukkot on a fall festival, nor have I ever noticed any evidence of that in the scriptures, however I am always ready to learn more. I just don’t see how the idea transfers. I do think we should show care and reverence with feasts that God called on his people to have, especially one of the big three, whether we choose to participate or not.

    [Reply]

  15. Love this! My husband and I also lived under this legalistic bondage til God opened our eyes to several things! Thank you for sharing!!!! ;0)

    [Reply]

  16. Sally Kim says:

    Just wanted to share, there is a song I use for my kids~
    by Mary Rice Hopkins

    “Pumpkin Patch”
    I’m a pumpkin how ’bout you
    Once I was little but then I grew
    Specially picked there I sat
    God picked me from His pumpkin patch
    He picked me from His pumpkin patch
    He took the yucky stuff out of me
    Carved a smile and eyes to see
    Then He came inside my heart
    Placed a candle in the dark
    Placed a candle in the dark
    So now I shine in the neighborhood
    The light that comes ’cause God is good
    Once I was sad now I’m His child
    He carved out this great big smile
    He carved out this great big smile
    So I’m a pumpkin how ’bout you
    Once I was little but then I grew
    ‘Specially picked how ’bout that
    I’ll be a light from His pumpkin patch
    Are you a light from His pumpkin patch
    Are you a light from His pumpkin patch

    [Reply]

  17. Did you know Halloween was started by Christians? For about 300 years after Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection, the Christians, were persecuted by the Roman government. This period of torture ended in AD 311, and in AD 313, the Roman emperor, Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Many wanted to remember the martyrs who had died for their faith, and so in A.D. 610, the church started All Saints Day as a special day set aside to remember them. Later, in A.D. 741, All Saints Day was moved on the calendar from May 13th to November 1st to counteract a pagan festival called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) which was beginning to influence even the Christian community. It is this pagan festival, Samhain (“sow-en”) that seems to have overtaken Halloween over the years and made Halloween what we think of today, a night associated with darkness and scary things. It was a Jewish custom to set aside the evening before a holy day to prepare for it, just like Christmas Eve is the night before Christmas Day, and the two days together are special times to celebrate. In the same way, October 31st was set aside as an evening of preparation for the holy day, All Saint’s Day, on Nov. 1st, and it was called “All Hallow’een” or “the eve of the holy ones” or “All Hallows Eve.”

    Even though All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day don’t seem to be celebrated in quite the same fashion as Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, they still, in fact, have remained on the calendar. Unfortunately, most people today, Christians included, don’t realize anymore the original purpose of this holiday, and many years of cultural influence have made Halloween what it is today. When I found out how Halloween and All Saints Day got started, I was inspired to try to “take back” the holiday and celebrate it in the way Christians originally intended, and that is, to remember the many Christians who gave their lives for believing in Jesus Christ. (Source: Redeeming Halloween by Kim Wier & Pam McCune)

    [Reply]

    T.Guidinger Reply:

    Thanks for listing the source. I have been wanting to find out the story behind Halloween. I have heard many different things over the years. I am going to check this out.
    We have done the Halloween thing and we have not done it over the years. I really don’t like all the spooky, creepy stuff that is associated with it, but would like to do something with the kids. Not crazy about all the candy either.
    To the BLOGGER here….what is the great article you read about Halloween..you didn’t mention it and I would be interested.

    [Reply]

    Real Life Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    I wish I could recall the article. I wrote this so long ago, and the link eventually was broken and the article removed from it’s original location. If I find it, I’ll let you know!

    [Reply]

  18. What about the seeds! Seems like you could add another bit about the seeds to the devotion-analogy.

    [Reply]

  19. Thank you all for the way you look at halloween .I wish more christians would see it in a good fun
    time As a young child we celebrated in this way, We didn’t anything bad about halloween it we were in are late teens. Over the years and with our family we have keep it fun and the bad out the last 10 years we have put God in and we have a Great time at home and at church with fall time of year God Bless

    [Reply]

  20. Thank you! I have two small boys and I battled with these thoughts ever since my oldest began school. We are a Christian family who believes strongly in living righteous and raising our boys with convictions. This year I am in the midst of planning a Family Fall Festival and I plan to use your pumpkin idea as the opening presentation and lesson before letting the kids break up into stations for crafts and games! :)
    God bless!

    [Reply]

  21. Thanks I had this messge for our sunday school before and the kids all enjoyed it. it helps us as Christians portray the our God is not a spoil sport but that in all things He works for our good and that includes the fun times. This year we are going to be doing it as a presentation to all who asemble for tes/coffee before Church service. Thanks again for your help.

    [Reply]

  22. Thank you for this article. It’s a great way to look at it!!!

    [Reply]

  23. My kiddos love to dress up too, that’s why we have dress up clothes and costumes out year round. I don’t think they’re missing out b/c they don’t get to collect candy while dressed up. I do love the thought of handing out candy while sharing the gospel.
    I loved her thorough, scripture backed article.
    http://www.prophezine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=676%3A10-reasons-i-kissed-halloween-goodbye&catid=41%3Atop-headlines
    It’s not about legalistic or liberalism, it’s a matter of our heart. My favorite quote from her article-
    “God doesn’t want us to keep the ways of the world and sprinkle Christianity on top. He wants us to elevate Him alone: His ways, His philosophies, His deliverance, His celebrations.”

    [Reply]

  24. I am shocked how many Christians think it’s ok to dress up & go trick or treat or carve pumpkins, or hand out candy? All that is part takeing of pagan Halloween day. God says in His Word, “What does darkness have to do with light”? Nothing! Halloween is the spirit of fear & weather your child is dressing up as Mary or Joseph they are opening their spirit up to all the spirits of what’s behind halloween, without them even knowing, and parents are doing it to them because instead of explaining to the child who God is & how He requires of us to live a rightness life led by the holy spirit that convicts the dark side, were more concerned not hurting the child’s feelings? For real? What happened to being a New Chriation in Christ?

    [Reply]

  25. I am shocked how many Christians think it’s ok to dress up & go trick or treat or carve pumpkins, or hand out candy? All that is part takeing of pagan Halloween day. God says in His Word, “What does darkness have to do with light”? Nothing! Halloween is the spirit of fear & weather your child is dressing up as Mary or Joseph they are opening their spirit up to all the spirits of what’s behind halloween, without them even knowing, and parents are doing it to them because instead of explaining to the child who God is & how He requires of us to live a rightness life led by the holy spirit that convicts the dark side, were more concerned not hurting the child’s feelings? For real? What happened, to being a New Chriation in Christ? Not partaking of things of the world? The same spirits that existed in Jesus times are doing and acting out in familys and churches homes today! Satan still uses Gods word today to justify his doings against the believer. All these statements above, that’s OK to do certain things for halloween is not true. I really encourage if you’re a believer to take a class or educate yourselves on spiritual warfare & who & how your enemy is and how he operates in the believers life, because he is right now doing it, by the justifications I just read.

    [Reply]

    Meelasuite Reply:

    Agreed! It’s mere foolishness. For a lack of knowledge people perish and for loving the things of the world. I believe your reason for not participating in Christmas and Halloween shouldn’t be based on the same scripture. Halloween is completely demonic and has only demonic roots. Christians then take that day and try to make something positive out of it or put God’s stamp on it. But why would God want to stamp His name on a day that never originated with Him or His intent. Christmas on the other hand was a blending of all religions including Christianity. So pagans celebrate it for different reasons. If you want to celebrate Christs birth on that day so be it and if you don’t so be it. In Essence everyday we should celebrate Christ including that day.

    Here’s a good handout to read about it. http://adamantbeliever.com/halloween.pdf
    Sometimes as Christian parents we will make choices that will make our kids feel left in out in order to protect them from the enemy and Include them in Christs Kingdom.

    [Reply]

  26. It’s well after Halloween and well after this post may have originally been published based on the timestamps for the comments. Thank you for discussing your trepidations on “celebrating” Halloween with your family, your insights on being the potential cause of rebellion, and sharing the pumpkin story.

    As Christians, we should be respectful, but unafraid of, the power of Satan, after all we know who we serve is stronger. We can allow our children exercise their imaginations, let our children play dress up, and go trick or treating…as long as we teach them what is make-believe and who they are in Christ. To pretend that they don’t play cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, and scary monster the other 364 days of the year only allows that parent to deceive themself, and allows for the unchecked opportunity for what they fear the most, without the opportunity for an instructive lesson.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Fall Posts:Reclaiming Autumn7 Practical Ways to Reclaim Autumn With Your ChildrenHow is Carving a Pumpkin Like Being a Christian (The most popular post of all time!)Pumpkin Maple Pie with Fresh Pumpkin Follow RealLifeSarah on [...]

  2. [...] Read my other Autumn posts: Reclaiming Autumn 7 Practical Ways to Reclaim Autumn With Your Children Pumpkin Maple Pie with Fresh Pumpkin How is Carving a Pumpkin Like Being a Christian? [...]

  3. [...] 2007 Picking Up the Pieces What Really Matters What I Learned From My Toddler Reclaiming Autumn How is Carving a Pumpkin Like Being a Christian (The most popular post of all time!) Pumpkin Maple Pie with Fresh Pumpkin September, 2007 Mothers [...]

Speak Your Mind

*