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Lots of Light

Considers Jesus' statement, ‘I am the light of the world’

by Kirstine Davis

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools

Aims

To explore Jesus' statement, ‘I am the light of the world’.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a relighting birthday candle, a small cake or muffin to stand it in and matches.
  • You will also need a torch, a cup of water and a pair of odd socks, which you need to wear during the assembly. If it is not possible for you to wear odd socks, then have some ready to pull out of a bag and explain that you were packing your bag for an event later in the day.

Assembly

  1. Make the statement, ‘Lights are often used for celebrations’. Ask the children if they can think of any celebrations where light of some sort plays a part.

    Listen to a range of their responses.
  2. Produce the 'birthday cake’ and light the candle. Invite anyone with a birthday during that week to come to the front while the rest of the children sing happy birthday to them.

    Leave the candle burning as you speak the words below as relighting candles sometimes need to burn for a few minutes to work properly.

    Point out that on our birthdays we have candles, on bonfire night we have fireworks, at Christmas we have lights on our trees, during the Hindu festival of Diwali lights are lit. In fact, Diwali is even called the ‘festival of lights’. Point out that although lights are often used for celebrations, sometimes people will light a candle in church or at home to help them pray or remember someone who has died.

  3. Explain that although Jesus lived more than 2000 years ago, he said many things that are still important today. One statement that Jesus made was, ‘I am the light of the world’. Point out that this seems like a funny thing to say. After all, Jesus was not a candle or a light bulb!
  4. Show the children the torch and ask them when we might use it.

    Listen to a range of their responses.
  5. Point out that people often use a torch outside. They may live in an area with very few streetlights, they may be camping somewhere or maybe walking a dog. People might also use a torch to see their way around if there has been a power cut.

    Torches show us the path ahead. Christians believe that Jesus shows them the right path to walk along through life. They believe that when things go wrong or they don’t know what decision to make, Jesus helps them.
  6. Take off your shoes to reveal your odd socks or pull them out of the bag and explain, as you decided in your prepration. Say either that you got dressed in the dark as you didn’t want to wake the rest of your family and, by mistake, you put on odd socks or that you were packing some socks for an event later in the day and picked up the wrong ones in the dark!

    This wrong choice was made because you were working in the dark. In the same way, Christians believe that the light of Jesus in their lives helps them to make good or the right choices.
  7. Ask a volunteer to blow out the candle. Comment that sometimes when we take the decorations down after a festival or even when we turn the lights off at night we can feel a bit sad about being in the dark.

    Hopefully at this point the candle will relight! Leave it lit.

    Explain that when Jesus died, many people felt very sad, but this relighting candle reminds us Jesus came back to life again. We celebrate this at Easter. Jesus came back to life and kept shining light in our lives, just like this candle!

Time for reflection

Let’s remain silent for a moment while we look at this candle flickering, bringing light into the room.

Think about Jesus’ words - ‘I am the light of the world’. Jesus also once said, ‘You are the light of the world’. How do you think you can be a light in the world?

Extinguish the candle by placing it in the cup of water.
Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for light and celebrations.
Please help us to be lights in the world.
Please help me to do what is good and right. 
Thank you that you are alive.
Amen.

Song/music

'Shine, Jesus, shine' (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 479, 2008 edition)

Publication date: March 2016   (Vol.18 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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