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Jesus in Me

Children's Ministry Magazine

Theme: Cleansed Hearts
Text: Matthew 5:16
Preparation: Carve a happy face into a pumpkin. Remove the pumpkin seeds and place them in a bowl inside the pumpkin. Before children arrive, turn the pumpkin so they can't see the carved face. You'll also need a trash can, a votive candle in a glass container, and matches.

The Message: This pumpkin represents our hearts before we accept Jesus' gift of forgiveness. (Ask the children to come up one at a time and reach inside the pumpkin with their eyes closed.) The cold, wet seeds are just as yucky as our cold hearts are before we join God's family. Once you invite Jesus into your life, though, he cleans out your sin, just like cutting open a pumpkin and scooping out the yucky seeds. (Lift out the bowl and dramatically throw away the seeds. Turn the pumpkin around so the face shows.) Now Jesus makes our hearts happy like the smiling face of this pumpkin.

When our hearts are filled with Jesus, God's love can shine out from our hearts to a dark world. (Place the candle inside the pumpkin and light it. Read the Scripture.)

(Give each child a small pumpkin to paint in class or to take home to carve.)

Eileen Nelson
Randolph, New Jersey


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