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December 2012

Light in the Dark

Christmas Eve

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: Isa. 9:2-7 and Luke 2:6-14

Preparation: Bring a strong flashlight and, if possible, arrange ahead of time to have an adult volunteer darken the church at one point during the sermon. (Agree on a signal to cue the volunteer.)

We have come to the end of Advent. The time of waiting is over. We stand at the beginning of Christmas. Tonight is a wonderful night: it is Christmas Eve. As the sun comes up tomorrow on Christmas morning, we will remember how our Savior Jesus was born as a tiny baby in our world.

Jesus is sometimes called the Light of the World. And at Christmas Jesus fills us all with light and joy. Jesus, the Light of the World, is with us now, but it still gets dark at nighttime. Jesus came to bring light to a different kind of darkness—the darkness that comes when we sin. When we sin and disobey God, it is as if we get lost and start stumbling around in the dark. We keep going the wrong way, keep hurting ourselves and others. And everything seems very, very dark. Then suddenly Jesus is here lighting our path. The light of Jesus pushes away the darkness of our sin and shows the way we should go.

Isaiah was a prophet who lived a long time ago, even long before Jesus was born. Isaiah knew that Jesus would come one day, and that Jesus would bring light to our world. Isaiah wrote, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light—a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow” (Isa. 9:2 NLT).

What do you think it’s like to walk in darkness? (Kids can respond.) I’d like one volunteer to go to the back of the church and stand in the aisle. (Choose a child, then let him or her go to the back.) Wave to us so we can see you. (Wait for volunteer to get ready.) Isaiah talked about people walking in the darkness, so that’s what our volunteer in the back is going to try to do. We’re going to turn off most of the lights, but before we do, let’s hold hands. We don’t want anyone to get lost or scared. (Signal the adult to turn off as many lights as possible.) 

It’s pretty dark now, isn’t it? And if there were no light at all, it would be darker still. Would it be hard to walk very far in complete darkness? (Let kids respond.) I have something here that might help. (Pull flashlight out of bag.) What could we do to help the person at the back of the church walk through the darkness up to the front? (Child that answers correctly may help shine light.) This light makes a big difference! The light shows the way. (Have the child at the back of the church walk up towards the front on the path of light from the flashlight. You could sing one verse from a carol about light while they walk; i.e. “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks,” “With Wondering Awe,” or “Light of the Living Christ” (see mp3 file below).

Light of the Living Christ mp3:

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for being the light in our lives. You show us how to live and where to go. Thank you, God, for sending us the Light of the World at Christmas. Thank you for taking away the darkness of our sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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