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Being a light in the World: Fitting in or Standing Out?

Being a light in the World: Fitting in or Standing Out?
God has called us to be his people in the world

 

Rationale

In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus specifies our role in the world in terms of salt and light. We were created to be like him, Genesis 1:27, and as his people in the middle of a world which has turned away from him, we are called to represent him in such a way that through us the world will both hear his words and see his reality in our lives. In the Bible we have many tremendous examples of those who, against great opposition, fulfilled this calling. For example, Elijah stands out as one who showed what it means to truly follow and trust God because in his time he stood alone it seems against the King and the whole nation as he called them to turn back to God. This calling now belongs to every Christian, no matter how old or in what situation they find themselves.  

Key concepts

  • We were all created to be like God and in Jesus we are again created in his image
  • The world is in the darkness, blinded by sin and by the devil. Our role is to be the light so that they can be saved and that the darkness will be restrained in the world
  • Jesus was the light which came into to the world for this very purpose, John 1
  • We are called to be his disciples
  • There are many great examples in the Bible (Elijah/Paul/Daniel) of those who fulfilled this because they knew He was true, loved them and was clearly directing them
  • They listened, believed, were obedient and were willing to suffer. Ultimately they and many others were blessed/saved/rescued by God because of this

Scripture References

Matthew 5:14-16 persecuted for Christ

Matthew 10:16-42 Long section on the cost and reward of following Christ

Matthew 16:21-27 - Lose your life for Christ

John 1:1-18 Jesus came as a light into the world

Examples:

Elijah - 1 Kings 17, 18, 19  http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/Elias-Elijah

Paul See Acts and 2 Corinthians for his personal thoughts on his struggles   http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/Paul
 

Resources

Some Videos from Wingclips (search under related themes)
 
Youtube can be searched for Bible stories and also related themes as in Wingclips
For examples of groups which are seeking to be a light in the world, see the various NGO websites
For example
See also Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army and so on
 

Ideas/Strategies for Lessons

Use Videos as discussion starters
Choose a NGO to delve a bit deeper into what they do and how we can get involved
Discuss Peer Pressure and how it affects how we behave
Focus on key passages and make them a discussion point
Examples from God's Creation. The stars are there all the time, During the day the sun shine blocks them. In the dark they can be seen

Light bulb moments: Brainstorm ideas for - How can we shine for God in our world? - Put words in light bulb shapes for display

Blackout moments: Roie play/discuss/brainstorm how we can stop being God's light through fear, apathy, selfishness, etc.

Make hand-print in yellow with verse – Be light in the world so people will see Him – make into a candle

A light in the world: what does light need; what do we need to stay in the light? (Relate to Year 5 Physical Science topic 'light')

Hide lights (torch/candle) around the room, turn off the room lights, how useful are the hidden lights? Will they last? Will anyone notice if they go out?

Pass the light game: In the dark, one child lights their torch on, then touches two others who turn their torches on. They find two more people who turn their torches on, etc. Watch how the light spreads.

A Light in the World:

  • How do we become a light for God? (Through Jesus - Oil in my lamp)
  • How do we stay in the light? (Reading God's Word; Obeying; Praying; Meeting with others; Doing God's work; Sharing God's truth)
  • Source of our light is Jesus
  • Focus of our light is Jesus - this draws other to Him

Loving my neighbour – small groups to initiate acts of love at local, national and international level or it could be a class or group long term project:

  • Skype contact with missions/missionaries – look outwards
  • Partner with own community, e.g. aged care, food bank, soup kitchen, environmental
  • Christmas boxes
  • Fundraising for a Mission
  • School Mission trip
  • Ethical Fair Trade – Children can act ethically (buy Fair Trade products) – love thy neighbour