This object lesson teaches about our role as light of the world until Jesus returns. In it, you will be giving birthday candles to children and lighting them, so you may need to consider the age-appropriateness of this lesson for your group.
- Birthday candles (enough for each child)
- Larger candle with a candle holder (for you)
- Lighter or matches to light your candle
- Finger protectors made from paper or poster board
· Cut out enough finger protectors for each child.
o 3” to 4” square should be about the right size.
o Cut an “X” or a star in the middle of each finger protector for the candle to slip through.
· Before class starts, light your candle, and put it in its candle holder somewhere out of the way. You can even conceal it behind something as long as it doesn’t present a fire hazard.
· Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
· “Matthew 5:14-16 says that we are the light of the world.” (Have volunteer read Scripture.)
· “What do you think it means to be the light of the world?” (Listen for responses, and make comments as appropriate.)
· “You know, Jesus is the Light of the world, but after He died on the cross, He went back up into heaven.”
· “We who believe in Him are now supposed to reflect His light to the world.”
· “That’s why God doesn’t take you straight to heaven when you become a Christian.”
· “Christians are important in the earth as reflectors of God’s light until He comes back again.”
· “So, according to the Scripture we just read, we are supposed to give light to everyone in the house (which means “the earth.”)”
· “Let’s read verse 16 again.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:16.)
· “What does it mean to let your light shine before men?” (Listen for responses, and make comments as appropriate. Some ideas you can include if they aren’t mentioned are: doing nice things for others, speaking kindly to others, showing love to others, giving to the church and to missions, helping the poor, avoiding the temptation to do bad things, being a friend to those who have no friends, taking good care of the things God blesses you with, telling others about God.)
· “So, let’s practice letting our light shine. I’m going to hand out some candles to each of you.”
· “They have a finger protector on them, so you should hold them underneath that piece of poster board/paper.”
· “Even though they have a finger protector, these candles can still be dangerous, so I need you to be extra careful with them once they are lit.”
· “Can everyone do that?” (Hand out candles with finger protectors.)
· “Now that everyone has a candle, we just need to turn out the lights and light them.” (Have a volunteer turn out the lights.)
· “Hmmm…. I don’t have a lighter. Does anyone have an idea how we could light these?” (Children should notice the light coming from the candle that you concealed before class. If they don’t, walk over to it in order to draw their attention there.)
· “Hey! There’s a candle over here already!”
· “How many of you noticed that the candle was over here before the lights went out?” (Look for a show of hands.)
· “Looks like most of us didn’t notice it when the lights were on.”
· “I think we can learn something from this.”
· “Let’s say that having the lights on is like when things are going well for people and that having the lights out is like when bad or difficult things happen to them.”
· “When the lights are on in someone’s life, they may not notice that you are a Christian who is reflecting God’s light.”
· “But when the lights go off in their life (like when a pet or someone they love dies, or they lose a friend, or they get into some trouble…), your light really shows up.”
· “Your light sometimes shines even brighter if the lights have gone out in your life, and you are going through a difficult time, too.”
· “When they see how you handle a difficult situation by trusting in God and giving your fear or worry or pain to Him, those who don’t have His light will be attracted to it.”
· “That’s when they will come and ask you about your light, and that will be your signal that God has opened their heart to hearing about Him.”
· “Do you know what you should do then?” (Listen for responses. You want to hear that you should share your light with them. When you get this response, use your candle to light one of the children’s candles. Then, ask that child to light someone else’s candle. Have the next child pass his/her light on to the next person and so on until all candles are lit.)
· “Amazing, huh? Look at all the light we have generated!”
· “And did you notice? We were all able to share our light with someone else without losing any of our own light.”
· “That’s God’s miracle when we can give something away without losing any of it!”
· “You know what else? The light pushes back the darkness.”
· “The darkness represents the evil that Satan wants to do in the world.”
· “It’s our job to reflect God’s light to push back Satan’s darkness.”
· “The more people we share God’s light with, the further back we push Satan’s darkness.”
· “I have a cheer for us that will help us to remember to keep pushing back Satan’s darkness.”
· “I’ll say it the first time, and then I want you to join me in saying it.”
· “We’ll start quietly – almost a whisper – and then we’ll get louder and louder until we are shouting it.”
· “Are you ready?”
· “Okay, it’s very simple. This is what we are going to do to the darkness…
Push it back! Push it back!
· “Say it with me.” (Start with a whisper, and get progressively louder until the children are shouting it with you.)
· “Excellent! I feel like going out and sharing God’s light with someone right away. I hope you do, too!” (Have the lights turned back on, and have the kids extinguish the candles.)