This seasonal message features the deeper meaning behind the holiday decoration of Christmas lights. The message also uses the character of John the Baptist as a reminder that we are to “proclaim the light” that is Jesus. When we see lights, we recall that Jesus is the light of the world, and that gives us hope at Christmas and always. And along with John, we prepare the way for Christ and share the good news of His light with others.
“Let the Way!” Children’s Sermon from John 1:6-8, 19-28 about the John the Baptist Pointing to Jesus
Main Objective: John the Baptist is a key figure in the Bible, not only for His place as baptizer of Christ. The New Testament prophet brought the blessed news of Christ’s coming, announcing the Messiah and preparing the way for Him. John emphasized that he was not the long-awaited Messiah, but was sent to prepare for him. This message mentions John, but emphasizes the element of light, featuring a classic holiday decoration as an object lesson.
Law/Gospel Theme: Dwelling on rules and consequences can bring a sense of worry or dark sorrow. The people of Israel in the time of Christ had many worries, and were also under bitter oppression. Some of them tried to focus on following the law to reconcile with God. However, the coming of Jesus provided a light to bring hope and fulfillment. The Gospel reminds us that we are saved by Christ. That lightens our load and lights our path!
Optional Materials: Christmas lights (electric, any style) and/or candles.
Bible Passage: John 1:6-8, 19-28
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video demonstration of this object lesson message on our YouTube page
- See the related craft idea demonstration
- See our full Sunday School Lesson on John 1:6-8, 19-28
- Compare Light of the World from Sermons4Kids
Children’s Sermon (John 1:6-8, 19-28) Light the Way for Jesus’ Coming
Greet children, with props at hand. Consider carrying Christmas lights or candles…wrap the lights around your body if you feel extra festive!
Hello, children of God! You may notice that I’m a bit “lit up” here… I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Christmas time, and one of my favorite things to do is look for Christmas lights. They are just so fun and festive. They make the darkness of night so cheery. I have a lot of lights up at my house, and they remind me that this is a joyful and hopeful season. But how do these lights work? What makes them light up?
They have to be plugged in, right? And one neat thing about Christmas lights is that if I plug them in to a wall, I can plug another string of lights into the first one, and stretch out the light. The one plugged in can share that light and continue the joyful string.
Do you know why we put up lights at Christmas? Well, if you want to talk history, the first electric Christmas lights came out around the end of the 19th century, along with the electric light bulb. But even before that, people liked to have lights at Christmas, because they would light candles during the cold winter months. Sometimes they put candles on their trees (but that’s not such a good idea for fire safety…).
The reason lights are so wonderful is that they remind us of the light of the world. Do you know who that is? Jesus, of course! See, technically we aren’t sure exactly what time of year Jesus was born. But we celebrate his birth during winter, when it sometimes tends to be a little gloomy and dismal. Thinking about the savior of the world during tough dark times gives us a bit of hopeful cheer. And celebrating Christmas during a challenging season can give us cheer and something to look forward to.
Before Jesus was born, there was a man sent to tell others that He was coming. That man’s name was John, and he came to tell other people about Jesus, the light of the world. He came to share the good news of Christ with others. We get to do that now, too! Just like plugging in a string of Christmas lights to another string can help share and spread the light, when we are “plugged in” to the power source God’s strength provides, we can share the good news with others, too. We have hope because His light shines. We know Jesus came and died to take care of our sins. We can share that hope, joy, and light with others when we love them and serve them, and tell them about Jesus. So this year, when you see those beautiful lights and decorations, remember what they point to. The true light comes from God. Jesus lights our world. Let’s share His love with one another!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for sending Jesus
The light of the world!
Help us to remember that hope
At Christmastime and always
Help us to share His light with those around us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference: John 1:6-8, 19-28
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight[h] the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. -John 1:6-8, 19-28