In honor of our upcoming Pumpkin Patch at Trinity Christian Academy, let me offer this devotion for us to consider this morning. As all of us are getting decorated for Fall, maybe we place things from our fireplaces or hang wreaths on our doors. Maybe we are helping our children and grandchildren pick out their costumes and we have our fingers crossed hoping for cooler Fall weather. It is a season of change, both in weather and within us.
In the DeLaune household, we have a beautiful home to decorate. We have baby pumpkins on our fireplace mantel, fall-themed stickers on the windows and an Autumn themed dining room table waiting to be used. The rest of our house may be a mess, but we are learning to love oranges, browns, and greens in this new season as a family. Both of the kid’s schools are doing science experiments and parties that are all Fall themed and I find my schedule way more packed this time of year.
So, the question becomes, can we slow down together for just a minute and look at how the images, decorations, and overall ambiance of this busy season can point us back to Jesus?
In all my years of Children’s Chapel, Camp Counseling, and disciplining my own children, I have always loved what can be learned from the Pumpkin and what it can symbolize in our walk of faith. In many ways, we are like a Pumpkin. As members of Christ’s Holy Church, we are picked, even chosen by God to be the bearers of light in this world. This Saturday we will have a chance to serve at the Pumpkin Patch at our Church’s off sight preschool, TCA and we will get to meet the community that has all come out with their families to pick out a pumpkin. Remember that we too have been “picked” to be a part of God’s Family and that comes with some beautiful responsibilities.
Part of those beautiful responsibilities is first allowing Jesus to clean out all of our gooey insides to help us look more like him. The dirt of sin and shame is washed off of us and we are cleaned out by the Holy Spirit from the inside out. In much the same way, we clean our pumpkins on the outside and then do the slimy work of cleaning out the inside. Let’s just say that it isn’t my favorite part of this season. But it is necessary. Because before light can shine through, the inside must be cleaned out.
Then Jesus gives us a new identity. We are a “Happy” Jack-o-lantern kind of family, but no judgment if you like the scary kind. The point is that the pumpkin is transformed and given a new identity, sometimes we even name our Jack-o-lanterns, and it is the same way with Christ. Through coming to know Christ, growing in your faith, worshipping, serving and discipling that is done through the faith community, we develop a new identity.
Last we celebrate that the light of Christ now has a place and a purpose within us. It is a light that shines best in the darkness and illuminates the night. The light of Christ is attractive and inviting and draws people in. But it also helps point the way in the darkness. Are we people that are helping point the way back to Jesus in the midst of darkness?
Over these next few weeks, I invite you to see this time as a season of healthy change and illuminating grace as you unpack the analogy of the Pumpkin in your own faith journey. And I invite you if you haven’t already been asked to come out this Saturday, at 12:30PM to our Reeves Campus to unload pumpkins or to encourage our Team that will be there. Sign up to volunteer at the Pumpkin Patch, come and invite your neighbors to the Awesome Autumn Festival or come and participate at the MSEE Fall Festival. There isn’t a shortage of ways that you can serve or deepen your relationship with the people and ministries of this church. I hope you will join us!
“What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:3-9