We choose not to celebrate Halloween, commemorating Reformation Day instead, but we love fall and pumpkins and having fun at pumpkin patches. Our third child was born in October, so we called her Pumpkin even before birth. When she was almost two, I found a delightful book at the library, which tells the story of God’s care for His people through choosing them and cleaning their hearts in Christ in the form of a parable about a pumpkin farmer. If you love fall and want a simple story to teach your child about new birth in Christ through one of the most popular crops of fall (pumpkins), The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs is a must-read.
Liz Curtis Higgs expresses a desire to be intentional in using God’s creation (in this case, pumpkins) to redeem Halloween from its dark roots and images. She writes in the introduction: “This book is NOT a celebration of Halloween… no ghosts, goblins, demons, witches, or monsters here! As a mother, I wanted to offer an alternative message for our kids each autumn, something wholesome, positive and encouraging. Since the Lord himself created pumpkins, it seemed appropriate to redeem this familiar symbol of the harvest season for his good purpose. My prayer is that through this simple pumpkin parable your own heart will be filled with the light of God’s love and you, too, will ‘let yourself glow!’” This is also our desire each holiday – to find a way to teach our children about Christ and to glorify Him in all that we do!
The parable opens with introducing the farmer and his farm, his choosing the pumpkin seeds and planting them. The farmer is patient as the plants grow, and as the pumpkins develop, they are all different shapes. With the help of his workers, he harvests the pumpkins and then selects one to carve. The gospel becomes clear as the farmer cleans out the slime and pulp, which he casts into the compost pile, “never to be seen again.” Then the pumpkin receives a new face, and the farmer puts a candle into the pumpkin so its face can shine for him. Each page also has a Bible verse, which helps reinforce the gospel message of the story.
Higgs concludes the story: “All the neighbors knew that, once again, the farmer had turned a simple pumpkin into a simply glorious sight. In the same way, God the Father offers his children the chance to be made new, full of joy and full of light, shining like stars in a dark world.” The verse for this page is 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new!”
This is a beautiful and simple story! It is one of our family favorites, and we read it each fall! We hope you enjoy it too!