Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas assembly - the glow in the dark baby

I created a powerpoint of this picture, focussing on different details of it (The adoration of the shepherds, by Gerard Van Honthorst) and cycled through it with some music playing as the children came in. (I used "How sweet is Love" by Michael Paget - I've taken the music out of the powerpoint here, for copyright reasons, but you can find something suitable of your own.) The children were remarkably transfixed by this, and reflected really well and with some sophistication on the image.

Look at this picture. (Show the whole picture on a powerpoint or OHP)
What can you see in it?

 Children talk about the things they see.

There is something in this picture which is very strange. What do you think it is.

The glow in the dark baby!

Have  you ever seen a glow in the dark baby?
Do you think Jesus really glowed in the dark?

Some children tend to answer yes... Explain that the Bible doesn't say this - he was an ordinary baby.

So why do you think this artist painted Jesus like this?

In the Bible Jesus is described as the Light of the World.  That’s not because he glowed in the dark but because when people met him as a grown up, if they were feeling dark and gloomy, he made them feel better.

There was once a woman whose back was all bent over.She couldn’t look anyone in the face and talk to them. It must have been very uncomfortable and upsetting. Jesus healed her and she could stand up straight. He lit up her life like a light coming on in a dark room. (Light a candle)

There was once a man who no one liked, called Zaccheus. Everyone thought he was a bad man. When Jesus came to his town he wanted to see him, but no one would let him through the crowd, so he had to climb up a tree. Jesus saw him there and told him that he wanted to come to his house for tea. Everyone was really surprised, but Jesus said he was Zaccheus’ friend too. Jesus lit up Zaccheus life..(light a candle)

There were once some children whose mothers brought them to see Jesus. Jesus’ friends said that he was FAR too busy and FAR too important to see a bunch of scruffy children, but Jesus was cross with his friends and said that the children were the most important of all. He lit up their lives – no one had said that to them before. (light a candle)

So lots of people who met the grown up Jesus thought of him as a light that had come on in their lives, helping them to know that they were loved.

Jesus didn’t glow in the dark really, not as a baby, and not as a grown up either, but people who knew him felt that he was a bright shining light, and that’s why he is often painted like that. 

But Jesus didn't just say in the Bible that he was the Light of the World, he also said that we are all lights of the world. You are a light of the world, and you, and you... The things we do can light up other people's lives.

As we watch the powerpoint presentation again and listen to the music, think about how you might light up other people's lives today.