Youth Ideas Jack-O-Lantern
Use the legend
of the Jack-olantern to share
Tradition says the Halloween “Jack-oLantern” gets it’s name from an old Irish
story about a drunkard called “Stingy
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
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 agreed.
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
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 hell.
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
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.
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
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)
Games and Activities in Celebration
of common Holidays.
Creative Holiday Ideas has over 300 pages of
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Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s
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