The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 25, 2013

Use Halloween's icons to teach lessons

The Commercial-News

---- — Suggested Scripture: Colossians 3:17

When my children were younger, I certainly did not forbid them from trick or treating at Halloween, but each year at this time I am reminded about the prevalent curiosity in our culture concerning the occult and supernatural. And it sometimes seems that at the same time we either overlook or discard in our thinking what are the two greatest supernatural events of all: God creating all that exists and God raising His Son, Jesus from death after being crucified.

And I usually have written a lot of words about this concern, but this year I would like to offer perhaps a different response, actually, a teaching response.

Printed below is a poem called “A Pumpkin Carver’s Prayer.” By following the carving steps you can do at least two things: Do the carving with your children and affirm for them what the symbols mean concerning our relationship with God and what God has done for us in Christ; and the symbols carved in your pumpkin will be kind of a silent witness when trick-or- treaters come to your door Halloween night.

So here you go:

A Pumpkin Carver’s Prayer

Dear God: As I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer

Open my mind so I can learn more of you;

(as the top is carved)

Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do;

I’m sorry for turning up my nose to all “You’ve given me;

(as the inside is cleaned away)

Open my eyes so Your love I will see;

(carve the eyes to be shaped like hearts)

(carve the nose in the shape of a cross)

Open my ears so Your Word I will hear;

(carve mouth in shape of a fish)

Open also my mouth so I can tell others You’re near;

(continue carving mouth in shape of a fish)

Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen

(as you place a candle/light inside to welcome your Trick or Treating guests!)

The Rev. Dr. Jimmy Hopper is pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Danville.