Talk about a time when you felt the light shining in the darkness. Perhaps it was at the end of a long journey and you were finally almost home. Perhaps you were going through a difficult time and you were finally moving out of it.
My Story and the Bible Story
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” “You’re almost there!” “Blue skies are coming.” We use a lot of phrases to talk about how the light is coming. When we are going through hard times, we talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. We talk about blue skies around the corner. There’s even a song that says, “Gray skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face.” These sayings give us hope that soon things will be better. The light is coming. We will make it through. The Israelites had been through a time of great darkness. They were waiting for the Messiah to come. And as we read during Advent from Isaiah, “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2). And that light was the Messiah, the Savior. Isaiah goes on to tell the people to be filled with joy, for their light has come. In Isaiah 60:1-6, Isaiah reminds the people of the hope they have in the Lord.
Read Isaiah 60:1-6.
As we celebrate Epiphany, we remember that the light has come. When darkness covered the Earth, a star shone. The magi followed the star to find the Savior. They knew that this light was special, and so they followed it to find the light of the world. They came from nations far away to find the light of the world, and these kings bowed down to the Savior. The people who had been in darkness could finally lift up their heads. The light had come!
There are times when we feel as if we are in darkness. Maybe you worry about the actual darkness and find yourself afraid when you turn off the light. Or maybe you find yourself in a tough situation and feel as if you are in darkness. Or maybe you have been suffering for a long time and feel like things will never get better. Maybe you are being bullied at school and can’t see a way that things will improve. The good news from Isaiah is that the glory of the Lord is with us. The light has come! You can lift your eyes and look about you, for the Savior of the Lord has come. When you are facing difficult times, remember that God is with you. God will help you through. The Light of the World is there with you, shining His light on your life. When you feel like things won’t get better, ask God for help. Ask God to remind you that He sent His light into our world, and that He makes the darkness bright. Rest in knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is the Lord.
Discussion and Prayer
1. Ask your children to talk about ways they feel like they are in the dark (i.e. if they are going through something tough at school, if they are afraid of the dark, etc.).
2. Talk about how we can remind ourselves that the Light (Jesus) has come (perhaps by shining a flashlight in the darkness or writing a reminder in your school planner or memorizing verses, etc.).
3. Talk about ways to share the Light (Jesus) with others?
4. Pray, thanking God for sending the Light into our world. Ask God for help in remembering that He is always there, and that He shines brighter than anything else.
Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.