There were two pumpkins in the field that were harvested and taken to the house. Both were washed, carried inside and placed on the kitchen table. The cap of both was removed and all the ‘gunky’ stuff, seeds and all, were scooped out. One was carved with an interesting face and a candle placed inside. The other one was cut into pieces and cooked. The first one was placed on the porch for a decoration. At night the candle was lit, and it gave out an eerie glow. As the days passed, it gradually deteriorated into a mushy mass. It was of no further use and thrown in the trash. The second one was cooked and used as food for the family. Some of it was used to make pumpkin soup. Some was used to make pumpkin bread and of course some used to make a delicious pumpkin pie.
In my parable, the pumpkins represent believers. Created by God to serve a useful purpose, they both became a part of the church. They were cleaned up and all the gunky stuff on the inside was removed. However, both did not serve the same purpose. Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:14 may prove helpful: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” God calls all who will listen to be a useful part of His Kingdom, but not all fulfill God intended use.
This parable aligns with a form often used in scripture. Things are presented in contrasting pairs to highlight the truth. For example in Luke 18:10, Jesus told of two men who went up to the temple to pray. Genesis 2:9 tells of two trees in the Garden of Eden. In Mark 15:25, Jesus was crucified between two thieves. 2 Timothy 2:20 speaks of two kinds of vessels, “some to honor and some to dishonor.” While the dishonorable are of no use, verse 21 gives the contrast: “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Some people come into the church, but soon relegate themselves to ornamental status. They show up for Sunday morning services and church suppers, but are not deeply involved in the ministries of the church. They dress appropriately, smile, and shake hands. They are like the carved pumpkin, mainly ornamental. Others become “meet for the master’s use” and are “prepared unto every good work.”
Can you see yourself in the parable of the pumpkins? May I paraphrase an Old Testament scripture in Joshua 24:15, “ Choose you this day whom you will serve”:
Choose You This Day Which Pumpkin You Will Be.
~ Brother Roy