Jack-o-lantern for Jesus

Oct. 31st 2017

During the time of Halloween many Christians wish to stay away from the event because of its images of demons and evil. However I think there is elements within Halloween that we can use as Christians to actually strengthen our faith. If we look at the famous symbol of the jack-o-lanterns we can find ways that we see God and our faith life in this.

Have you ever thought about a Jack-o-lantern tying into your Christian faith? Being a Christian is kind of like being a pumpkin. Here’s what God does when we invite Him into our hearts… God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all of the dirt off which you may have gotten from other pumpkins. 1 Corinthians 6:11 – “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”

Just like a pumpkin, we have an inside and an outside. People only see the outside, but God sees the inside as well. 1 Samuel 16:7 – “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God wants to change our inside, but the only way he can do it is if we become open to Him. Revelation 3:20 – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

For anyone that has made a Jack-o-lantern you know there is a process of cutting a hole in the top and cleaning out the insides. You get rid of all the yucky stuff and the seeds that are inside. The same is true for us as Christians and God cleansing us from the inside out. God through His Son Jesus opens us up by opening our minds so we can learn new things about God. Then He scoops out all of the yucky stuff. He remove the things in our life that don’t please Him. The seeds of doubt, hate, selfishness, impurity, greed, unforgiveness, etc.

Jesus was willing to get messy for us…He died on the cross to cleanse us from all our sins. Ezekiel 36: 25b – 27 – “I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” When all the yucky stuff (sin) is gone, we feel so happy! Then, God carves a new smiling face and puts His light inside of us to shine for all the world to see. Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”. It is the transformation of being given a new body and a new purpose that takes what is old and turns it into something new that God can use for his mission and glory.

Along with that smile the eyes and nose of the Jack-o-lantern are made to let more light out. Proverbs 23:26 – “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.” We need to open our eyes to see the beauty God has made in the world around us. We need the nose to be aware and sorry for the times we’ve turned our nose up at the good food we are provided. We need the mouth to praise God and say thank you for all that we have been given. But most of all we need a light. We need the Light of Jesus Christ shining brightly in us like a candle in the darkness. If the pumpkin is left empty, it will just be hollow. Just like us if we don’t have the light of God in us. This to me is a pretty good picture of what happens when we let Jesus into our hearts. We need God’s light inside of us to make us alive! When Jesus lives inside of us, we can glow! We will want to tell people about Him, be kind to others and bless others more than yourself. John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” A complete jack-o’-lantern proclaims the Resurrection. The jack-o’-lantern glows with light in the darkness because Jesus is the “Morning Star who came back from the dead,” the Light of the world, “the lamp of endless day.”

I don’t know what you think of when you see a Jack o’ Lantern, but I hope that this Halloween you will think of Jesus. Think about how He came to take away the sins of the world and put his light in our hearts to shine for Him. We need to show our light from God to others through the things we say and do. Just like a jack-o-lantern. We need to let our light shine so that others will see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Are you letting your light shine? Be a jack-o-lantern for Jesus!

Matthew R. Marshall