Pumpkin season

26/10/11 | Posted by Ian Black

We are entering the season of pumpkin carving. Millions of the gourds will be sold over the coming days to be hollowed out, shapes scary and fun carved into them and lights placed inside. Some may even make use of the innards to cook up tasty treats. The effect can be magical and warming, especially if the image carved is not too scary.

image
 Carved pumpkin

As the nights draw in, the clocks go back and the hours of daylight shorten, lights shining out in the darkness has a natural resonance.  Not surprisingly many religions have festivals of light around this time – not least Diwali for our Hindu brothers and sisters.

For Christians this season is a festival of the holy being shown in human lives.  The word Halloween comes from the old word for All Saints Day – All Hallows.  The ‘een’ bit refers to the evening before.  So Halloween is the evening before All Saints Day.  All Saints is when we remember how God calls Christians to be lights in the world so that how they live proclaims his love.

As we look at the pumpkin lights the question for us is how do we live as lights in the world?  Do we make a difference?  Do we challenge the darkness of injustice; do we use our words to bless or curse; do we go to the aid of those in need and use our money for the relief of poverty and hunger?  Are we someone who has hope carved into our heart, someone who brings joy and rejoicing?  Are we essentially someone who is thankful, for whom each day is a gift to be celebrated?

The saints are people who allow the light of God to shine in them and through them.  Some have become celebrities and their stories are well known.  Most are unsung, but the difference they have made is no less important or vital. 

What we choose to carve into a pumpkin says something about us.  Do we choose to celebrate good or evil, hope or fear?  As pumpkin lights abound, so may the true light that lightens all goodness and blessing.

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