How many of you have ever helped your Mom or Dad carve a pumpkin? It’s pretty messy, isn’t it? First you have to cut a hole in the top, and then take everything out. All those seeds and all that gunk. But once you empty the pumpkin, what’s the next thing you do? You carve a face into it, don’t you? You give the pumpkin eyes, a nose, a mouth. Pretty soon, it’s not just a pumpkin. It’s a Jack-O-Lantern!
But we’re not done, because what’s the last thing you do before you set the Jack-O-Lantern on the front porch? You put a light inside. The light shines through the Jack-O-Lantern’s face, and gives light to the whole neighborhood.
People see different things when they look at a Jack-O-Lantern. But one thing I see is what happens when we come to know Christ. God changes us from the inside out, removing the sinful gunk, and putting a new smile on our faces. Then he gives us a light we can share with the world.
But it’s still up to us to make sure that light shines. If we didn’t carve the Jack-O-Lantern, no one would ever see the light. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). So don’t hide your faith inside you. Let the world see Jesus, so they too can know his light!