Don’t Be Afraid!

HalloweenThis is a crazy season. Our culture’s obsession with Halloween seems to grow with each passing year, with some reports claiming that it is now surpassing Christmas in retail sales and in decorating investments. Everywhere we look there are spooky images celebrating death that may cause fear in the hearts of some children. It’s hard to know just what to do with this ridiculous holiday that has so invaded our culture. Some choose to celebrate with an alternative event while others just simply choose to ignore it.  I think we need to look at this time of year as an opportunity to answer the big question that cannot help being on everyone’s mind: “What happens when we die?”  Praise God, we know the answer to that: JESUS CONQUERED DEATH and as believers in Him, we know that death is not the end. We as Christians don’t need to be afraid of death because Jesus has victory over death, hell, and the grave! JESUS CONQUERED DEATH!

Make it your goal during October, leading up to Halloween (whether families celebrate or practice the holiday or not), to help kids recognize that while our world celebrates death and things that are evil, we celebrate LIFE and things that are good. A great theme verse for this month is, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Cor. 15:55, 57.  Use this opportunity to teach your kids about the Resurrection of Jesus as found in Luke 24:1-53. Teach them about how JESUS CONQUERED DEATH when He raised Lazarus found in John 11:38-34 or Jairus’ daughter in Luke 8:40-48. We know a Savior who faced death and destroyed it.  JESUS CONQUERED DEATH so we have no reason to be afraid.

Object Lesson: Shining Your Light

jack-o-lantern1PROPS: A carved pumpkin/jack-o-lantern

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!