Junior Youth: Light & Dark in the World

Contributed by: Charlie Baker, Diocese of Auckland

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1v5

This is the first in a teaching series called ‘Light/Dark’. 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!

You will need: balloons, vivids, AV equipment, newspapers, scissors, Bibles, paper/whiteboard, pen

Game (optional)

Give each person a balloon and using a vivid, draw an X-wing (or another spaceship) on it. Then have a competition to see who can keep their “X-wing” in the air the longest without it touching the ground. The catch – they cannot use their hands, they must be held behind their backs throughout the game.

Introduction – Use The Force

Watch Yoda teaching Luke about the Force (from the Empire strikes back).

Ask:

  • How would you explain ‘the Force’ to someone who has never seen Star Wars?
  • What words would you use to describe the dark side of the Force?
  • What words would you use to describe the light side?

Activity – Light and Dark in the News

Explain that we can also see a light side and a dark side in our world.

Hand out sections of current newspapers. Ask each person to search through the papers to find and cut out an example of both ‘light’ (a positive, good news story) and ‘darkness’ (for example, an article about crime).

Get each person to share briefly about the articles they found – do this in pairs/small groups if your group is large.

Large Group Teaching – The Light of the World

In your own words, and drawing on the examples from the activity above, explain that

  • the ‘darkness’ in our world breaks God’s heart
  • God sent Jesus, the Light of the World, to deal with the darkness

Watch the clip below or read John 1v1-18. As they watch/read, ask them to listen out for what the writer, John, says about ‘the light’.

Invite them to share what they noticed about the light and write these ideas/phrases on a whiteboard/large sheet of paper.

Highlight this key verse – “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1v 5

Explain that we will learn more about Jesus, the light who shines in the darkness, over the coming weeks.

Prayer – Light in the Darkness

Close by praying about the ‘dark’ situations they found in the newspapers. Ask Jesus to shine his light into those situations.

Throughout this series, you may like to play this song in the background during prayer and response times, or sing it together.