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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Jesse Tree Day 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. -Genesis 1:1-5 NIV

My job is to teach young children at our church. I love to help them learn to love the Word, to know the adventure and excitement of ordinary people who God choose to use in extraordinary ways. Some of the kids have never heard of the people we learn about, others know them so well I could sit down and let them teach. What I really like to do when we learn about very familiar accounts, like the one above, is to teach them to really read and understand.

For a whole year I spent meditating on Light in the Bible, so for me, starting this month talking about light is deep & meaningful.

When teaching children about creation, I often begin with this question: “on day 1, when God created light, what was the source of this light?” Almost every time, most of the kids will say “the sun” because that is our main source of light. But in Genesis, God doesn’t create the sun, moon, and stars until day 4. There are 4 days with no sun. Three full days there is light but no sun to produce that light.

Light/dark is a common literary device used to compare good/evil. You find it in stories, movies, music, even in art and photography. It’s a common theme among many religions and beliefs. So although it’s not unique to Christian teaching and doctrine, it is a great place to reflect on the nature of God.

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The book of John opens with an introduction of Jesus. It says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

First of all, I must point out that “Word” here is a name for Jesus. Some religions choose to translate that first verse with “the word was a God,” however it is very clear in the original language that Jesus IS God. The other thing I think is greatly important about these verses is that Jesus was part of the creation of the world. He wasn’t created or began his existence when he was born “on Christmas day”. He always was, being in the nature of God, and has no beginning or end. When he was born, he put on flesh, like we put on clothes, choose to humble himself, and come as an infant boy.

In the book of Revelation, at the end of all things God will create a new heaven and new Earth. This is the day that Christians look forward to. The promise of no more pain or tears. Sin will finally be defeated for all time, and we will spend eternity with our God. In chapter 21, John is writing, as best as he can to describe what all this will look like.

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. Revelation 21:22-23

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Both in the beginning of time and in its end we have God as the source of light. Jesus said in a loud proclamation in John 8 “I AM the light of the world.” During the Feast of Tabernacles, at its pinnacle, the Jewish leaders would light huge menorahs. Tradition says that the light was so bright, that the windows to the temple were cut so that the light would shine out from the temple. The lighting reminded the people of God’s glory when it entered the temple at Solomon’s dedication and in anticipation of the Messiah to come.

Light represent life and freedom, salvation and hope.

Family Activity:

gather before hand a candle or flashlight, ornament representing light, and a Bible

Turn all the lights off in a room. Talk about the feelings you have when in a dark room. Loneliness, fear, uncertainty. Maybe some will say tired, peaceful, or happy. That’s okay. Explain about creation. Read Genesis 1:1-5. Now read John 1:1-5 Light the candle or flashlight. Turn it off again. Which is stronger, light or darkness? When Jesus is called the light of the world, what does that mean? What are some of the thing seen at Christmas time that can remind us of Jesus being the light in creation? Pray together, thanking God for Jesus as our light and salvation.

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