A Halloween Story for Children of all ages
 

An Unlikely Winner
 

The annual Halloween Party at Brownsville Community Church was a week away.  The Sunday School children were to dress in a way they felt represented the way Jesus saw them.

Everyone was excitedly making plans about what they would wear.  Pat was going as a sheep.  Dan would dress like a shepherd. Susie was making butterfly wings out of clothes hangers and some old curtains. Mary, who thought church was dumb, dressed her little brother like a devil. devil boy.gif (7579 bytes)
The night of the party arrived.  There were sheep and shepherds.  There was a princess, a king, Batman, a ninja, and an array of costumes as broad as ones imagination. 

After an evening of games and goodies, the children lined up in a big circle and marched around for the judges to see them.  Mary's little brother started to cry.  Someone stepped on his tail and it fell off.  Mary picked him up and carried him around the circle in her arms.

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The judging was complete.  "Third place" announced the Pastor "goes to all the sheep."  Jesus tells us we are His sheep and He is our Shepherd."
"Second place goes to the butterfly, Miss Susie Porter" ,the Pastor continued. " The butterfly represents new life.  Jesus tells us that as Christians, we are promised a new life in His Kingdom."
The Pastor paused as he read the judges choice for first place.  "First place goes to Mary!".  Before the Pastor could finish the judges explanation,  there were protests from the children.   Parents began whispering to each other in disbelief. Mary had no costume.  How could she win?
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The Pastor finally continued.  "Mary came as herself.  This is the way Jesus sees us.  Just the way we are. When Mary's little brother lost his tail, Mary came to comfort him.  This is how Jesus wants to see us, as servants to others.  Jesus loves us for who we are, not for who we pretend to be."
Mary decided that church wasn't such a dumb place after all.   She had never realized that Jesus loved her just as she was.  That night brought a very special change to Mary's life.  One which she will find comfort in forever.

Carol 1988