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Have your group plan and host a harvest party for your church’s children. Make the party’s centerpiece a Halloween devotion. Get a large pumpkin and recruit six group members to help. As your teenagers carve the pumpkin, have them use the following devotion to help remind the children what it means to have Jesus in their hearts:

Group Member #1-(Cut out the stem part and pull out the gooey insides.) *Say: Yuck! This is what we look like inside when Jesus doesn’t live in our hearts. All the bad things we do and all the mean and grumpy things we say are rotten and slimy just like the inside of this pumpkin. Just like our pumpkin couldn’t clean itself out, we can’t clean ourselves up without Jesus’ help.

Group Member #2-(Show the inside of the pumpkin all cleaned out.) *Say: When we decide we want to love and follow Jesus, he comes into our hearts and cleans up all the nasty stuff sin causes. And Jesus gives us all a very important job.

Group Member #3-(Carve the eyes.) *Say: Jesus wants our eyes to look at everyone with love.

Group Member #4-(Carve the nose.) *Say: Jesus wants our noses to sniff all around and find all the kind and wonderful people we know: teachers who help us to learn, parents who cook us our meals, and the mail carrier who brings us our mail. Jesus wants us to be sure to thank all the special people we know.

Group Member #5-(Carve the mouth in a smile.) *Say: Jesus wants us to use our mouths to tell everyone we know about him. So be sure to tell someone about Jesus’ love this week.

Group Member #6-(Put a candle in the jack-o’-lantern and light it.) *Say: When Jesus lives in our hearts, he cleans out the mess inside. Even better, he lights up our lives so that everyone who looks at us can see his love shine out, just like this pumpkin shines right now.
Close with a song such as “This Little Light of Mine.

Linda Snyder is a director of children and youth ministries in Georgia.

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