Jesus in Me

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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.

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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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Children's Ministry Magazine

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