On the way to work yesterday, Jennifer’s car died. She called a tow truck and spent the day working from home instead of at the office. A snowstorm hit mid-afternoon and she had to pick up her son early from school. What normally would have been nothing more than an inconvenience threatened to freak her out. Why? Because it was just one more thing in what’s been several hard months.
She’s not the only one who feels that way. Honestly, I’ve had a few days like that myself. Maybe you have too. Kids and parents both feel the strain of a lot of “just one more” things, whether that’s social distancing, the hassle of wearing a mask all the time, hybrid school, or no more play dates with friends.
Especially for those who don’t know Jesus, life can be tough. They need God’s love, his message of hope and just maybe something beautiful to sprinkle happiness in their day too. So this fall consider giving all three—with a pumpkin. This simple pumpkin idea is one step to building a relationship and opening the door to share God’s love with your neighbors.
I’m going to do it for our neighbors and encourage your family to do it in your neighborhood.
Painted Pumpkins: Signed – Painted – delivered
Supplies you’ll need: tempera paint or acrylic paint, paintbrush, mini pumpkins or small pumpkins, paper plates
#1 – On the bottom, write or paint a simple message then sign your name
On the bottom of the pumpkin, write or paint a simple message then sign your first name. That message can be…
- A short note – “Have a great day!” “Thinking of you today.” “Good morning!”
- A verse – “Psalm 23” “John 3:16” “1 John 4:16”
- Or a link where they can connect with a local church
On the bottom of my pumpkins, I wrote…
Have a great day!
#WeAreFor [this is a link for my home church]
and on a different pumpkin I wrote
Have a great day!
#2 – Choose your design and decorate your pumpkins.
Spread newspaper over the counter and then let kids have at it. Polka-dots, stripes, flowers, geometric patterns, whatever they want as long as it doesn’t take away from the message of God’s love.
#3 – Hand deliver the painted pumpkins.
Deliver your painted pumpkin messages to friends and neighbors. Let them know you’ve been thinking of them and wrote them a simple message on the bottom of the pumpkin.
Show people love with practical gifts is great and very easy to do. But don’t forget that at some point you have to actually tell them about God’s love and his gift of salvation so they can have the peace and joy you do (Acts 4:12). Here’s a great resource if you need a little help on what to say and how.
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14)
So have fun painting and delivering pumpkins to your neighbors. But follow that up with another step—telling them the truth of God’s story.
Do you have other ideas for sharing God’s love with your neighbors? Please share!
Thanks to Anna Erickson, student at Western Theological Seminary and Al & Luana Fonseca for the amazing pumpkin designs. You rock!
© 2020, Carol Garborg