I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Halloween has always been a family favorite holiday. We were never into gory or scary, but spooky décor, costumes, fantastical stories and candy always had an appeal. Later I realized that the Bible is full of mysterious and fantastical stories. Witches, fortune-tellers, skeletons, mummies, angels, demons, giants, talking donkeys and ghostly spirits can all be found in there. Enjoy ghost stories? The best one ever is in the Bible. It is the miraculous story of how one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Ghost, somehow comes to live within each believer to guide us, show us our sin and make us holy. Not your typical ghost story, but perhaps even more amazing!
But out of all the Halloween fun, we especially look forward to picking out, carving, and lighting up our pumpkins - and later enjoying their roasted seeds. Every year at the farm or garden store I am amazed at the variety of shapes, colors and sizes of gourds, corn and pumpkins. And every year I was amazed at the creativity of my parents and then my children as they chose their pumpkins’ faces and designs.
Several years ago, I found this on the internet:
Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes off all the dirt. Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Last, he carves you a new smiling face and puts his light inside of you to shine for all the world to see!
Maybe this was what Linus from the Peanuts was thinking about in ‘The Great Pumpkin’ when he spoke so fervently about the need for a ‘sincere pumpkin patch.’ If we earnestly seek the Lord with all our heart and have a sincere desire to turn away from our former life of sin, God will absolutely pick us out of the bunch, remove our sin, fill us with joy and put the light of His love inside of us to shine for others to see. And the angels in Heaven will rejoice!
The small light in our jack-o-lanterns reminds of us of the brighter light Jesus puts in our hearts, which points us to the infinitely bright light of Jesus himself who lights up all of Heaven (Revelation 21:23). That’s a wonderful meditation as we prepare to honor those faithful believers who have gone before us on All Saints Day.