Tonight, for my son’s bedtime book, he chose one with a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin. It was cutesy, found as an impulse buy last Halloween at the checkout of a Lifeway Christian bookstore. I figured it had something redeeming about it, but to my recollection I had not read it before. I was quite surprised when we began to read that there were bible verses on each page, corresponding to an adorable rhyme explaining how we are like the pumpkins and God cleans us out and makes us new. In shock that this little book held such a valuable lesson about sin and salvation, I continued to think about it after I turned out the kid’s lights and sent them off to dreamland. The final verse was from Ephesians 5:8-14, a shortened version of the following… with a delightful picture of the giant smiling pumpkin, now cleaned out, receiving its candle to light up the darkness:
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore, it is said:
Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead,
and the Messiah will shine on you.
I found several things interesting about these verses, and armed with a fresh pumpkin-y visual, I pondered them.
1. So once the pumpkin is opened up (ouch is what comes to mind if I am the pumpkin), then it is cleaned out and the “sin” is removed. God’s “cleaning us up” is seldom painless.
2. It doesn’t get the face carved into it until it goes through the clean-up. Our Creator’s image cannot be reflected on us if we are holding on to the slimy sin-guts. Or grosser, if we are spilling out those guts through our mouth…
3. It never stays hollow. The whole point when carving a pumpkin is to eventually get that thing lit.
4. The reason for the clean-up, the carving, the light… it’s not for the pumpkin’s sake. It is all to display the handywork of the Creator.
5. The pumpkin is silent (would get a bit creepy if it wasn’t, lol). The pumpkin now cleaned and lit, does not call out other pumpkins on their mess. If it is doing its job, remaining lit, it can silently impact the darkness. Things are exposed, and they become clear.
So now the questions. Where am I? Am I allowing the painful removal of my sin-guts that once filled my core? Or am I terrified to undergo such pain, and I stop the process there?
Do I believe God’s promises that I will be made new, or am I holding out on total clean-up because I fear that being hollowed out will leave me feeling, well, hollow?
Am I stuck at the cleaned-out stage? Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to carve and make an image suitable to bring glory to our Lord? Or am I trying to make an image myself – freaky if pumpkins could self-carve! Am I comparing my carved image to the other displays, instead of trusting in the one who sees purpose in making the image best suited to my pumpkin-y shape?
Is my pumpkin-head self, going around pointing at other pumpkins and yelling at them? Is my silent light shining in the darkness? Or am I forgetting whose light is filling me, and I am trying to explain the darkness away and instead start piling other gunk into my hollowed self, surely dimming if not extinguishing my light and sole purpose for being carved?
Psalm 46:10 says, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The stillest light shines the brightest. Now stop wobbling andgo shine forth His glory!
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.