About 1 1/2 weeks ago, the kiddos & I were in our church's library. We came across a children's book called "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" by Liz Curtis Higgs. We ended up checking it out, and it turns out that it's now one of my favorite books! In fact, after we turn it back in, I will be purchasing my own copy. Then, I will store it way up high, completely away from Kate's little hands, to avoid having it damaged -- Ha! (Don't worry -- I will most certainly let Kate see it & read it -- completely SUPERVISED)!
**Note: The author, Ms. Higgs, quotes scripture in this book from the "International Children's Bible". For the purpose of this post, I will quote scripture from the NIV, 1984 edition!
It starts out with a note to parents stating that this book is supposed to be an alternative to scary Halloween messages. Yes!
And, for a quick synopsis. Go & buy the actual book for the real thing. I promise it'll be better than my synopsis!
First, the farmer plants the pumpkin seeds. "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God". Luke 8:11
Next, the farmer patiently waits on the pumpkins to grow. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance". 2 Peter 3:9
The pumpkins grow, and they are all different. But, they are all pumpkins. "Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" Isaiah 66:2a
The pumpkins are now ready for harvesting. Which one would he choose first? "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest". John 4:35
Then, the farmer washes away all of the dirt AND cleans out all of the slime and gunk inside of the pumpkin. The messy part goes into the compost pile, never to be seen again. Then, the pumpkin got a new face!
"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name". Acts 22:16
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me". Psalm 51:10
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart". Hebrews 4:12
"I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve". Jeremiah 17:10
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit". 2 Corinthians 3:18
"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light". Matthew 6:22
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful". Proverbs 15:13a
The pumpkin then glowed once the farmer put a candle in it. As the night grew darker, the pumpkin glowed even more!!
"For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ". 2 Corinthians 4:6
AND, a new favorite verse of mine (from the message given in our church yesterday)...
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven". Matthew 5:16
Seriously -- go and pick up this book! I PROMISE it will not let you down. The kids & I have read it multiple times. I have explained the connection to Luke. Though he does not yet *completely* understand it (6 years old -- in kindergarten), my prayer as a Mama is that one day, he (and Kate as well) understand just what Christ did for them and how Christ can and will make them new!!!!