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Light of the World

The second in a series considering the I am statements of Jesus

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To consider Jesus’ claim that he is the light of the world.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need cards that have light-related words written on them, such as candle, torch, firework, moon, car headlights, miner’s lamp, star, match, reading lamp, lamp post and sun. You will also need a board for the children to draw on.

  • Have available an image of the size of the Sun in relation to Earth, and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at: http://tinyurl.com/lftmon9 (scroll down to the third image).

  • You will also need a torch or an image of a torch beam, an image of footprints and the means to display these images during the assembly:

    the beam from a torch illuminating a road, available at: https://tinyurl.com/gqs3bvs
    footprints on a beach, available at: https://tinyurl.com/j5tocz4

  • Have available the Bible passages, Genesis 1.3-5 and John 8.12. You may wish to arrange for a child to read these passages.

  • You may wish to familiarize yourself with the previous assembly in this series, ‘Bread of Life’, available at: http://www.assemblies.org.uk/pri/2845/bread-of-life

Assembly

  1. If you have completed the first assembly in this series, ‘Bread of Life’, remind the children of the use of a metaphor to describe a person. Jesus isn’t really a loaf of bread, but is someone who can nourish and satisfy spiritually, just as bread can in a physical way. Explain that this assembly is going to look at another of the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus.

  2. Explain that you would like some volunteers to come to the front. You will ask them to read what is written on a card, and then draw a large picture so that the other children can guess the word. Explain that as well as guessing each word, you want the children to spot the connection between the drawings.

  3. After all of the pictures have been drawn, ask the children for the connection between the pictures. The children will identify that each item supplies light.

    Ask which source of light would give the greatest or smallest amount of light.

  4. Show the image of the size of the Sun in relation to Earth.

    Ask the children if they know any facts about the Sun, and then tell them the following facts:

    - Obviously, the Sun is very big. In fact, 1.3 million Earths could fit inside the Sun!
    - The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system.
    - The Sun is responsible for the Earth’s climate and weather.
    - The Sun is an almost perfect sphere.
    - The centre of the Sun has a temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius.
    - The Sun consists of all the colours mixed together, so it appears white to our eyes.
    - The Sun can blind us if we look directly at it.
    - It takes eight minutes for light from the Sun to reach Earth.
  5. Read (or ask a child to read) the Bible passage, Genesis 1.3-5. Explain that Christians believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He put the sun in the sky during the day and the moon at night. He created the stars and the galaxies. Light is very important to God.

  6. Ask the children, ‘Why do we need light?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that light enables us to see when it is dark. Light shines into dark places and illuminates them. Walking in the dark when you cannot see where you are going can be scary.

    Read (or ask a child to read) the Bible passage, John 8.12, where Jesus says, ‘I am the light of the world.’

  7. Ask the children, ‘Why does the world need another light if we already have the Sun? It seems to be doing a very good job!’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that the Bible tells us that our world can be a very dark place. It tells us that our hearts can be dark and in need of light. Many of the bad, sad things that go on around us are caused by a type of darkness in people’s hearts. God turned on the biggest, brightest light when Jesus was born. Jesus came to bring light. He came to show us how to live in light and in goodness. His light is bright enough for everyone in the whole world
    .

  8. Show the torch or the image of the beam from a torch illuminating a road.

    Point out that a torch lights the way in the darkness. Ask the children if any of them have experienced walking in a dark place with only the light of a torch to guide their steps
    .

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that, like a torch, Jesus can light our way through life, show us what God is like and show us the way to bring light to the lives of other people. A torch helps to keep us from stumbling over things in the dark. Jesus wants to help to keep us from stumbling over problems in life. He wants to be there to help when we feel lonely, hopeless or depressed.

Time for reflection

Show the image of the footprints on a beach.

Let’s think about Jesus’ words for a moment: ‘He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’

Pause to allow time for thought.

Let’s think about Jesus’ statement: ‘I am the light of the world.’

Pause to allow time for thought.

The Bible also speaks about people being lights in the world. How could we be lights to those around us?

Pause to allow time for thoughtYou may wish to listen to a range of responses.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the light that you have created.
Thank you that you saw that your beautiful world needed another kind of light.
Thank you that you sent Jesus to be a light to the world.
Please help us to be lights to those around us.
Amen.

Song/music

Shine, Jesus, shine (Mission Praise, 445)

Publication date: June 2017   (Vol.19 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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