Each October Christian families must decide what part - if any - Halloween will play in their lives. Some followers of Jesus take a hard line and refuse to have anything to do with the holiday that began as a pagan ritual hundreds of years ago. Other Christian believers choose to reclaim Oct. 31 as a day to spread the message of hope and forgiveness that a life in Christ offers. However one chooses to celebrate or avoid Halloween, autumn is a great time of year to share the story of new life that is explored in "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" by Liz Curtis Higgs and Nancy Munger.
Using a farmer as a model for God, the author shows how God lovingly creates, nurtures and cares for each of his children. The creation of a new heart in each believer is demonstrated by the farmer scooping out the pumpkin's slimy insides and replacing them with a light all can see. Although no two pumpkins are alike, the farmer is happy that each one grew in his garden.
The text of this story is easy enough for beginning readers and the colorful illustrations will keep younger readers interested. Each page in "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" (Thomas Nelson, 2006) includes a short Bible verse that reinforces that portion of the story; memorizing the verses could easily become a way to extend the lessons being taught in this children's book. Other ways to connect the lessons in the book to real life could include a visit to a pumpkin patch and cutting open a pumpkin to see how slimy and messy it looks inside.
However Christian families with young children choose to deal with the overabundance of Halloween-themed craziness at this time of year, the Christian Fiction Examiner suggests making "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" part of your family's autumn activities.