Look at the Christmas Lights!
Lights in the darkness
by Helen Redfern (revised, originally published in 2006)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider Jesus as a light in the darkness and to reflect on how we can bring light into dark situations this Christmas.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a feely bag that contains Christmas objects such as a bauble, some tinsel, a chocolate for the tree, a candy cane, a Christmas stocking and a candle.
- Have available the song ‘Love shine a light’ by Katrina and the Waves and the means to play it during the assembly. It is 3.12 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnoikRec67k
- Optional: you may wish to have available a candle to light for the children to focus on during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
- Ask the children whether they prefer it being light or dark.
Discuss the fact that at this time of year, the days are shorter. In fact, it sometimes seems to get dark almost as soon as school finishes! Encourage the children to think about times when they have been in the dark, but have been able to see many different kinds of lights. How many can they think of?
Listen to a range of responses. You may wish to ask the children to discuss the answers in pairs first.
Draw out these suggestions: streetlights, headlights, lit-up rooms in houses, shop windows, fairy lights, torches, fires, nightlights, candles, traffic lights, matches, the moon and stars.
- Ask the children about Christmas lights. Where have they seen them this year? Are there lights in their houses that they put up especially for Christmas?
- Show the feely bag to the children.
Invite some volunteers to the front to put their hand into the feely bag, take hold of an object and try to guess what it is without looking. Comment on how much harder it is to tell what things are without being able to see them.
- Explain that long before Jesus was born, back in the time of Isaiah the prophet, the people were ‘walking in darkness’. That didn’t mean that it was literally dark all the time because the sun never shone. Instead, it was a way of describing how the people were living without hope, peace or guidance. They didn’t know where they were going in life. They had lost sight of God and were doing lots of wrong things. They couldn’t see an end to their troubles.
Isaiah told them of a time when things would be different. In the Bible, he says, ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shone.’ (Isaiah 9.2)
- Jesus was born to be a light in the darkness. When he grew up, he actually called himself ‘the light of the world’. (John 8.12)
- Some situations nowadays can feel like living in darkness: constant arguing, worries, illness, loneliness, bullying, fears and so on.
People still need light in their lives today – the light of hope, encouragement and direction. Christians believe that God can bring hope and light into people’s lives. However, each of us also has a part to play in bringing light into the lives of others.
Sometimes, just smiling at someone is enough, but we could also try doing something kind for someone or saying something encouraging.
So, when we see sparkling Christmas lights this year, perhaps it will remind us to be a light for someone.
Time for reflection
Play the song ‘Love shine a light’ by Katrina and the Waves.
Optional: you may wish to light a candle.
Invite the children to reflect on Jesus as the light of the world. Encourage the children to think about how they can be a light to those around them.
Challenge the children to think about how they can bring light into the lives of others this Christmastime.
‘This little light of mine’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKkbIZtqhyQ (3.30 minutes long)