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.

 

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