Main Point: God is our strength and guiding light; our power comes through faith and we can share this power with others.
Materials: Flashlight(s), lantern, glow-in-the-dark stars, Bibles
Anyone who has encountered a power outage can understand and appreciate our modern dependence on electricity. When a falling tree limb or storm cuts power lines and homes plunge into darkness, we suddenly realize how important power can be. With it we light our rooms, cook our food, keep temperature stable, charge appliances, enjoy TV and music, and so much more! This lesson seeks to emphasize how, just as electricity fuels our homes, God fuels our lives. The verses outlined provide insight into how often Biblical imagery compares Jesus to light and how as Christians we can be a source of light, too.
Open with some discussion of power…if possible, make the room pitch black and ask students what they can see. Why is it suddenly difficult to move around or do anything? Field some stories of experiences with power outages or hypothetically brainstorm what would be difficult in such a case. Turn on a flashlight to demonstrate how even a small beam can make a huge difference when you are surrounded by darkness.
Discuss electricity throughout time…how did people light their homes prior to Edison’s grand invention? Show an old lantern and explain oil, kerosene, and other historical lighting options. What about in the times of Christ? How did people light things then? (Candles, fires, lanterns). Why is light so important? (It allows us to see things, electricity provides power). Have you ever heard light used in the Bible? Explain that today we will look at some Biblically “lit up” examples.
Bible verses: Take a look at some passages that highlight references to light and illumination. These include Old Testament references to visibility, starting in the very beginning:
- God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. -Genesis 1:3
Light is also how God presented Himself to the Israelites as they fled captivity and traveled:
- By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. –Exodus 13:21
The Bible itself is also described as light, showing the way for us to gain discernment in things:
- Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. -Psalm 119:105
The Messiah is also a light, described in stark contrast against the darkness of sin and despair. This light is first promised in prophetic message, and echoed later as it comes to fruition in Christ:
- The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. -Isaiah 9:2
- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. -Matthew 4:16
- The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. -John 1:5
- Jesus is the light, the truth, and the way: While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. –John 9:5
He is our power and light. He also enables us to be light, spreading the good news of the gospel to all who will hear it.
- You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. -Matthew 5:14
“This little light of mine…” When you turn on a light switch or flashlight, darkness is immediately dispelled. There is no sweeping out the dark or long-term lighting. Light floods instantly. God’s love does the same. Where we have the message of Christ, there is automatic light. Our job is to radiate that beam through the entire world. We are powered by HIM!
Craft/Close: Wrap things up (depending on age level) with a rousing song, a final message, or a trinket to decorate, such as a mini-flashlight or glow-in-the-dark sticker. Provide students with a hanging tag for a lamp or light switch, where children can fill in the sentence, “I light the world by…” to consider influencing people for Christ. Close with a prayer and verse.
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