Light and Dark – Hallowe’en

Bible base

Matthew 15:16–20; Luke 11:33–36; John 1:4,5

Aim

To help students reflect on what causes evil and Jesus’ reassurance that he is the light of the world.

Things you’ll need:

  • Appropriate pictures from newspapers etc to remind students of ‘evil’ events that are currently in the news (bombings, crimes which have hurt people, oppression) –these could be prepared for display on PowerPoint.
  • Flip chart and pens (optional)

Preparation

Search out and prepare for display pictures you plan to use.

Note: When you refer to Halloween, take care not to appear to trivialise it or associated topics, which may be frightening issues for some students (eg the occult and supernatural).

Presentation

1 Start by talking briefly about Halloween. Point out how, although most people don’t take Halloween seriously; there is real evil in the world which is very serious. Ask the students for some examples of ‘evil’ they’ve noticed recently in the news.

2 Show them some of the pictures you’ve selected as reminders of ‘evil’ that’s happened recently and talk about the kinds of ‘evil’ these represent.

3 Ask:

  • Why did these bad things happen?
  • Who was responsible?

4 Say that while we would probably never do some of the terrible things they’ve just looked at, all of us do sometimes do ‘evil’ things. Asking students for their ideas, make a list (on flip chart) of different ‘evil’ things they might do (eg bullying, telling lies, taking something which isn’t yours). Even though these aren’t big crimes, they are still small steps in the wrong direction and which often result in hurt for others.

Reflection

1 Dark

Comment that most of the evil and suffering in the world is caused by human beings. The Bible talks about the wrong things we do coming from within us. It’s our own fault! Christians believe that God created human beings with the ability to choose right from wrong: a lot of the time evil is caused by people who deliberately choose wrong.

2 Light

Christians believe that the power of evil has been overcome through the death of Jesus on the cross. If we do wrong things, God will forgive us when we say sorry to him, and will help us to do what’s right.

Response

1 Light a candle, placed so that people can see it. Then read out Jesus words, saying:

‘Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World.”’ John 9:5 (NIV)

2 Ask students to consider:

  • Have you contributed towards evil in any ways?
  • What good have you done recently?

3 Invite students, if they wish, to take a moment as everyone is quiet to ask God to forgive them for wrong things they’ve done and to find ways of bringing some ‘light’ into others’ lives today.

4 Conclude by reading John 1:4,5, explaining that these are some words from the Bible about Jesus.

Note: Check that the school’s Health and Safety rules will allow you to light a candle during assembly.

 

 

The light of the world – Christmas

Topic:

Christmas

Aim

  • To think about the significance of light for Christians at Christmas, a festival which is all about the birth of Jesus, the Light of the World.
  • To consider ways in which we can show the qualities of ‘light’ in our lives.

Things you’ll need

  • Flip chart or similar divided into 2 columns– one labelled ‘light’, the
  • other labelled ‘dark’
  • A note pad and pencil
  • Words which fit the categories ‘light’ or ‘dark’ (eg love, peace, kindness, fear, lies, fighting etc) written clearly on separate strips of card or paper. Include the words ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’. You may like to have some spare strips ready so you can add other words during the assembly.
  • Blu-tack
  • A candle and matches

Bible Base

  1. 1 John 1:5
  2. Luke 2:32
  3. John 8:12

Content

1 Show the flip chart with the two columns labelled ‘light’ and ‘dark’. Talk about words linked with light and darkness (eg sunshine, shadows, lightning, night-time). Ask the children for their suggestions and jot them down as a reminder for yourself of what they have said.

2 Ask them to show you whether they think these words belong in the ‘light’ or the ‘dark’ column, in the following way. As you call out the words they have suggested they must either:

  • put their hands over their eyes to show the word belongs in the ‘dark’ column;
  • flick their hands open and closed in front of their eyes to show the word belongs in the ‘light’ column.

3 Introduce another way of thinking about light and darkness. Show the words on the cards you prepared before the assembly (love, fear etc) one at a time. Explain any they don’t understand. Ask the children which column each card belongs in and then stick it in the appropriate place using Blu-tack.

4 Explain that Christians believe that ‘God’ should go in the ‘light’ section because the Bible says: ‘God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5, Youth Bible). Ask the children if they agree with this.

5 Talk about Jesus, ‘the Light of the World’.

  • Explain that at Christmas time, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. The Bible says that when Jesus was six weeks old, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to dedicate him to God because that was the custom of his people.
  • There was an old man in the Temple called Simeon. When he saw Jesus, he tookh im in his arms. He said that Jesus would be a light for the people to see (Luke 2:32).
  • When he grew up, Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness’ (John 8:12, Youth Bible).
  • The Bible shows that Jesus was a man who was loving and kind, a good man who helped people and spoke the truth, a man of joy and peace. (You could remind the children of some examples from Jesus’ life).

6 If the children think these things written about Jesus are true, which side of the chart should ‘Jesus’ should go on? Christians believe that Jesus always showed these qualities of ‘light’ in his life and never those of ‘darkness’.

Application

A Christian viewpoint

Light is special for Christians at Christmas time, because they remember the qualities of ‘light’ lived out by Jesus, as they celebrate his birth. Christians believe that following Jesus brings these qualities of ‘light’ into their lives as well.

For everyone

Look at the words you have stuck in the ‘light’ column. Ask the children which qualities of light others might see in them.

Response

1 Light the candle. Ask the children: If you go into a dark room and turn on the light, what happens to the darkness? Does the darkness ever put out the light? Christians believe that these qualities of ‘light’ are ‘stronger’ than the things that are on the ‘dark’ side, just like light is ‘stronger’ than darkness.

2 Look again at the words on the ‘light’ side. Ask the children to think about situations where they might be able to show ‘light’ in the darkness.

 

Light – Hallowe’en

This assembly has been included to be used where a positive alternative to Hallowe’en is wanted. It focusses on Jesus the light who has overcome the darkness.

Aim:

To explain that Jesus is like a light, and that his light never goes out.

Bible base:

John 1:5 and 8:12

You will need:

  • Lots of different sources of light – torch, lamp, match and candle, bicycle light, etc
  • A scarf as a blindfold

Presentation

1. Set up a simple – and safe! – assault course, eg under a chair and over a low table.

Ask for a volunteer to go through it. When they have done this successfully, ask them to do it again, but blindfold. If they do, guide them carefully and ask at the end how it felt, and which was easier. If they won’t try it blindfold, simply make the point that it can be frightening to have to do things when we can’t see.

2. Talk about how scared people can get in the dark – grown-ups too! – and how even a bit of light helps. Somehow all the things that seem scary at night go away when there is a light on or when it is morning.

People are not frightened of the light. Show the different sorts of lights and talk about where and how they might be used.

Application

1. Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world’.

2. Christians believe that Jesus can help us when we are frightened. The Bible says, ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out’. Jesus is that light which can never be put out.

Prayer

Ask the children to join in the prayer by saying ‘Help me, please, Jesus’ after you have said ‘Jesus, you’re the Light, so…’

Sometimes it’s dark and I feel alone. But Jesus, you’re the Light, so ‘Help me, please, Jesus.’

Sometimes it’s dark and I feel scared. But Jesus, you’re the Light, so ‘Help me, please, Jesus.’

Sometimes it’s dark and I am frightened by strange noises in the night or by how quiet the house is. But Jesus, you’re the Light, so ‘Help me, please, Jesus.’