Hallowe'en - Light and dark
A session for use anytime as an exploration of the theme of light, and particularly for Halloween, All Saints, Advent or Candlemas
You'll need a torch for each person
1. Opening Games in the dark:
Spell it! : Challenge one person to spell out a simple word with the light from their torch for everyone else at the other end of the room to guess.
Torch-tig : one person is 'it' and has a torch. If they can keep their beam on another player for the leader's count of five, the other player is 'captured' and becomes 'it' instead. Of course, the players should be encouraged to dodge and duck to avoid being held in the torchbeam.
2. Play 'charades' but instead of acting out a tv programme title, give children a word from this list to act out without words: light house, torch, headlights, laser beam, candle, spotlight, searchlight, LED, lightbulb, desklamp, miner's helmet, streetlamp, star
Ask what they all have in common.
3. Ask the children to switch their torches on and off to help make this Bible overview as dramatic as possible.
In the beginning the world was DARK, but then God said, 'Let there be LIGHT!' and the world changed from DARK to LIGHT. God divided the LIGHT from the DARK and called one 'day' - that was LIGHT and one 'night', that was DARK.
God wanted all people to share his LIGHT.
But God's people went through a very DARK time when they were slaves in Egypt. So God rescued them and when they had crossed the Reed Sea with Moses, their hearts were full of LIGHT.
God led his people across the desert into freedom, and guided them with a DARK pillar of cloud in the daytime and a LIGHT fiery pillar in the night-time until they reached the place he wanted them to live.
Some of God's kings brought God's LIGHT and joy and peace to his people, but some were bad and brought DARKNESS, and sadness and pain.
God wanted everyone in the world to share his LIGHT. So he told the prophets to tell all people walking in DARKNESS that they can see God's LIGHT too.
And one DARK night, God's LIGHT came into the world in the shape of a baby. Jesus was born in the DARK of a stable and under the LIGHT of a star.
When Jesus grew up, he turned the DARKNESS of pain and suffering into the LIGHT of healing. He turned the DARKNESS of loneliness into the LIGHT of being friends with God and with other people. Jesus turned the DARKNESS of being confused into the LIGHT of understanding.
When Jesus died on the cross, the whole world went DARK, but when he came back to life on Easter Sunday, the world was filled with LIGHT that shines on and on and on and nothing will ever stop it shining.
4. Craft activities involving decorated candleholders, lanterns, coloured filters to fit over torches, stained glass windows or similar would work well.
Display a large map of the world and ask children to think of places that need God's light, find that place and as you say a prayer out loud, they can shine their torch on that place.
Shine torches through a prism and ask God to shine his light through each of us so that we can show his love in different ways (like the different colours).
6. Songs include Shine Jesus Shine (MP 445); We are marching in the light of God (SHF 1076); This little light of mine (JP 258); Light of the World, you stepped down into darkness