Junior Youth: Changed by the Light

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

‘Changed by the Light’ is the fifth session in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’ looking at our identity in Christ. Throughout this series, your youth will discover more about Jesus as the Light of the World, his victory over darkness on the cross, and the transforming power of his light in our lives… all through the lens of Star Wars!

Key Scriptures: John 1v12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

You will need: names of Star Wars characters (optional), AV equipment, printed copies of the ‘I am’ worksheets ( 1 per person), Bibles, felts/coloured pencils, paper

GAME – Who Am I? (optional)

Play ‘Who am I?’ with Star Wars characters.

Engage – Becoming a Jedi

Briefly recap the topic the topic of Light/Dark and the key verse for the series “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1v5).

Watch Jedi Kitten – The Force Awakens

When someone becomes a Jedi they learn to use the force. But becoming a jedi isn’t just about learning to use the force, it’s not just about what you do.

When they start to train under a Jedi master, to follow their ways and learn from them, they change: they are changed from just being a force sensitive to a Jedi. Who they are changes. In other words, their identity changes.

This means that they are no longer just out for themselves. They have become a guardian of peace and justice in the Republic. So they must act to maintain law and order; they must do what is right. Their change in identity leads to a change in behaviour.

Group Teaching – Becoming like Jesus

When we choose the light, the light changes us too. The moment that we step out from the darkness and into Jesus’ incredible light, we are changed. John 1v12 says that any one who believes in Jesus becomes a child of God – their identity is changed.

Ask a volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT): “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”

Just like a Jedi, when we choose to follow and train under our Jedi Master, Jesus, we are changed. We are given a new identity as a child of God. And because of that we start to have new ways of behaving: our new identity changes what we do. The light transforms us into people who are like Jesus.

This is really important, because who we believe we are affects what we do and the choices we make. Ask the group to come up with some examples that would illustrate this. You may need to give them some suggestions, for example: ‘If [name] believed that they are the most important person in this room, what would they do?’

Small Groups Activity – I am…

Hand out copies of the ‘I Am’ worksheets. Divide your group into four small groups or pairs and assign each group a colour (red/purple/blue/green) which corresponds to the verses they will be exploring on the worksheet. Together they will discover how the light changes us by looking up the verses and finding out what the Bible says about our identity as followers of Jesus.

Get everyone to report back to the larger group afterwards, and fill in the rest of the statements as they listen to the other groups’ ‘I am’ statements.

Response Activity – ‘I am’ Posters

Recap some of the I am statements, saying:

This is who God says we are when we choose the light. This is the truth about who you are.
But I wonder, if you believe it? Do you believe that this is who you really are? Could you say for sure that “I have been chosen” or “I am holy” or “I am loved”. Often the darkness whispers different things to us. Things like:

  • ‘Everyone else is those things, but not you’
  • ‘You’re not good enough for God to love you’
  • Maybe someone has told you, ‘You aren’t worth it’
  • ‘You’re different, you don’t fit in, you don’t belong, we don’t want you here’

There can be things people say to us, or things we tell ourselves, that stick in our mind. But it’s what God says about who we are that is true.

Create a poster: Get them to choose one of the ‘I am’ statements – perhaps one that they find hard to believe about themselves, or one that stands out to them – and to create a poster about that statement that they can hang on their bedroom wall.

Worship & Prayer: Invite them to reflect on that statement and pray silently about it about as they listen to ‘Good, Good Father’.

Finish with a group prayer or prayer ministry, that God would show them more of who they are in Him.