Youth Illustration: Jack-O-Lantern

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  Youth Illustration:

 Use the legend of the Jack-
   o-lantern to share the

Tradition says the Halloween “Jack-o-
Lantern” gets it’s name from an old Irish
story about a drunkard called “Stingy Jack.”

According to one version of the story, which
has many variations, on October 31st, Stingy
Jack was being chased by some villagers for
stealing. It was his time to die and because of
his wicked life he was going to hell. But he
offered the devil an opportunity to create
chaos and distrust in the whole village if the
devil would free him for a year. The devil,
gleeful at any opportunity to cause conflict
and destroy relationships, agreed to hear
Stingy Jack’s plan.

You want to know what his plan was?

 Since the devil could turn into any shape,
 the devil would turn himself into a coin and
 Stingy Jack would use the coin to pay for
 the things he had stolen. Later the devil
 could change back to his original shape and
 the villagers would accuse each other and
 fight over who had stolen the coin.

 The devil agreed to the plan, but when he
 changed into the coin, Stingy Jack dropped
 the coin into his pocket next to a cross he
 had stolen from the village. The devil was
 powerless next to the cross and couldn’t
 change back into his original form. Stingy
 jack eventually freed the devil, but only
 after the devil agreed not to bother him for
 a whole year.

The next year, the Devil met Stingy Jack walking
on a country road and told him that he was there
to collect his soul. Jack, pretended he was ready
to go, but asked the Devil if he would grant him
one last wish. Would he climb an apple tree and
get him an apple? The Devil, thinking it was a
small request in exchange for Stingy Jack’s soul

Jack pointed to an apple at the top of the tree and
the devil began to climb. But just as he reached
for the apple, Stingy Jack pulled out his knife and
quickly carved the sign of the cross in the tree’s
trunk. Again, powerless before the cross, the Devil
was unable to come back down from the tree.
Stingy Jack, very proud of himself made the Devil
promise to never again ask him for his soul. Seeing
no other choice the Devil reluctantly agreed.

Later, Stingy Jack died. But when he knocked
on the heavenly gates he was not allowed
inside because of his wicked life. But the
devil, because of his promise not to take his
soul, also refused to let Stingy Jack enter

Being unable to go to heaven or hell Jack
asked the Devil where he should go. The
Devil only replied, “Back where you came
from!” The way back was very dark so Jack
begged the Devil to at least give him a light
to find his way. So the Devil tossed Jack a
hot burning coal from the fires of hell to
light his way.

Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip
and has been roaming the earth ever since.

The Irish referred to him as “Jack of the Lantern,”
and later, just “Jack O’ Lantern.” After a while, the
Irish began to carve scary faces into potatoes and
turnips and place them in windows and doorways
to frighten away Stingy Jack and other roaming
spirits. When they came to the United States, they
discovered pumpkins were much more suitable
for jack-O-lanterns since they were softer and
easier to carve than the turnips and potatoes of
their Irish homeland.

You don’t need a pumpkin to scare away evil
spirits. And you don’t need the light of a jack-o-
lantern to light your way. Jesus the light of the
world has come to you!

Your name might not be Stingy Jack, but the Bible
tells us that no one is worthy to get into heaven.
(Romans 3:23)

 And while you can’t make a deal with the
 devil, Jesus has already made a deal on
 your behalf. He exchanged his life for yours
 that you might receive eternal life.
 (Romans 6:23) And the devil is still
 powerless next to the cross where Jesus
 gave his life for yours!

 You don’t need to wander the earth,
 fearful about whether or not you will get
 into heaven or afraid the devil will get your
 soul. You can know for certain you will go
 to heaven. (1 John 5:12-13, John 14:6)

 All you need to do is confess your sin,
 believe in Jesus, and trust him with your
 life. (Romans 10:9)

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Games and Activities in Celebration
of common Holidays.
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Description: Use the legend of the Jack-o-lantern to share the gospel.