One of the things I do here at Fairview is to write the lessons for our Family Chapel program. For those of you who may not be familiar with the program, each year we divide the student body from PreK through grade 8 into multi-age groups. We call these groups “Family Groups” and throughout the year they meet together, get to know one another, and form some wonderful bonds. The main reason for having these groups is to allow our older students to develop some leadership skills by leading a chapel lesson every month. We have found this program to be quite successful. But I digress.
As I stated, it has become part of my job to prepare the lesson each month for the leaders to share with their individual groups. I must quickly add here, that most of the time the ideas are NOT original with me, but I glean lessons from a variety of places and put it all together. I am quite excited about this month’s lesson and I would like to share it with you.
As part of the lesson, the leaders will be reading the book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, a delightful tale by Liz Curtis Higgs. The story tells of a Farmer who grows pumpkins, outlining the special care He takes to grow His crop. The story concludes with the Farmer picking one special pumpkin. He then washes the pumpkin, takes out all the icky stuff inside, carves a wonderful smiling face and then places a light inside to shine out for all to see. Of course, the analogy is that the Farmer is God, we are the pumpkins and Jesus can give us a new purpose in life, which is to let His light shine through us.
I also came across a wonderful prayer I would like to share with you.
The Pumpkin Prayer
Dear God, as I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer
Open my mind so I can learn about You; (Cut the top of the pumpkin)
Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see; (Cut the eyes out in heart shapes)
I’m so sorry for turning up my nose to all you’ve given me. (Cut a nose in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so your word I will hear. (Cut the ears shaped like the Bible)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near (cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen. (Place a candle inside and light it)
Although we will be carving our chapel pumpkins with slightly easier shapes than the prayer suggests, I like the imagery. I hope you will perhaps look at the carving of pumpkins in a slightly different way and remember that God desires to make us new creations in Him.