Preparation: Have a nightlight, a flashlight, the candle shape printout (click here to download) and some cross or heart stickers to hand out to each child.
Talk about how wonderful the lights are this time of year when it gets dark so early. “Is it nice to have candles and Christmas trees to add lights to your house? Did you put lights on the outside of your house this year? We love lights don’t we! Ask the children if they have a nightlight or a flashlight in their room. Why do they have that? (Accept all answers.) Yes, no one, not even adults, likes the dark. Why do you think that is? (accept all answers: can’t see, trip over stuff and get hurt, kind of scary to not know what is in the same room with you…etc.) Light makes us feel safe, makes us feel not alone and lets us see what and who is around is. Light is good!”
Say, “Today’s Bible story has a lot of talk of light. It’s kind of confusing, even for adults, but the writer of the story is telling us that Jesus is the light of the whole world! God sent Jesus to let us know that we are not alone, God is always with us and Jesus’ love shows us all of the people in the world that Jesus wants us to love. God shows us God’s light through Jesus. Jesus is sort of like a nightlight for the whole world. When you look at your nightlight or your flashlight you can remember that Jesus is always with you! He is the light of the world! And do you know what? God says that Jesus’ light shines through us! You can light up someone’s life with God’s love! How can you do that? (Accept all answers) Yes! We can love, help and care for people and be Jesus’ light to them.”
*”If you parents say it’s ok, you can put this cross/heart sticker on your nightlight or flashlight to help remind you of Jesus’ love for you!”
Have a table of tea light candles (electric ones are great too!) and have the congregation light a candle and write a prayer for where they would like Jesus’ light to shine or a thanksgiving for Jesus’ light in their lives. Have a candle shape cutout (link here) for people to write their prayers on. You can have a basket at the base of the Christmas tree or the cross for the prayers to go into. *You can also have people write how they will be the light of Christ to others this week and take their candle piece of paper home. You can also find inexpensive candles for people to write on and take home.