It pops up to invade stores everywhere in fall, and most people seem to either love it or hate it. Sugary, simple, and unnaturally orange, candy corn has been around for over a century. While there are different varieties, the basic makeup of candy corn is pretty straightforward: sugar, a bit of texturing fondant, more sugar. Is there anything we can learn from such a treat? And is there any value in it whatsoever for instruction?
Sure! Why not take a couple of useful principles from this tasty autumn specialty and use its popularity for some Biblical truth? Whether it is just a brief message or a full Sunday school lesson, candy corn can serve as a memorable aid.
Purpose #1: Not everything has a purpose!
One of the beauties of candy is that it is just plain fun, even without any real nutritional virtue. For those who enjoy it, candy corn is a delightful munching item when the season rolls around. It is happy and tends to make people happy. Sometimes we need things in life that are this way; and if our intention in every thought, word, and deed is to serve God, He can use anything. It is good to serve and sacrifice and work for Him. But as long as He is the primary thought and presence, even something as simple as buying a new book or passing out candy can be an act of worship. Candy (corn) reminds us that His words are sweet, too, as should be ours…
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! -Psalm 119:103
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. –Proverbs 16:24
Purpose #2: A little piece of trinity…
With a little extra interpretive license, the autumn confection can serve as a great reminder of the Holy Trinity. After all, there are three colors in candy corn, but one piece. Orange, yellow, and white combine together to make such a delicious and memorable treat. Yet we cannot separate the colors or strip one away from the essence of what makes candy corn. All parts are necessary. Technically, the colors have varying flavors, but it can be tough to distinguish which is which, since we partake of the candy as a whole. And, after all, the very shape of candy corn (triangle) reminds us of that all-essential triune element of God. It might be a slight stretch in some aspects, but it can be a worthy visual.
Purpose #3: Use as a prop or part of a lesson
Teaching about the sower and the seeds, or the coming harvest? Perfect, since candy corn looks conveniently seed-y. Maybe you could even “plant” candy corn in a special snack or craft. You can also use it to pass out as part of a story, like the parable of the talents, or the workers in the field. If teaching about Zacchaeus, use as illustration of the wee man’s tax collecting deception. Of course, you can always just pass it out as a snack, too—or a reward for answering a question.