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