Yesterday, I re-posted an article from 2019 about why we prefer to hold a Light Party at Halloween. We don’t feel comfortable joining in lock stock, but we equally don’t want to try and ignore the whole thing either. We don’t want our children to miss out on fun, but we don’t want them joining in with stuff that we don’t find at all appropriate. You can read about our position here, with our reasoning for doing what we do and not doing what we don’t.
Anyway, I thought it might be worth sharing what we actually said at our Light Party. We want children and families to have fun, to enjoy themselves playing games and eating good food. But ultimately, we want them to see that the light is better than the darkness. We want them to see and hear about Jesus. We want them to hear about him and also see us enjoying ourselves because of him. We want them to see and hear that Jesus really is better.
So, along with the games and the food, we did a short illustration and talk for the children and adults listening in. Here is what I said:
Light Party Talk – John 8:12
Ask for a volunteer:
- Blindfold them
- Ask other children to spread themselves out
- Turn off the light
- Ask blindfolded person to walk to other side of the room without touching anyone
- Turn light back on
- Ask whether they managed and whether it was easy to do
Ask for another volunteer
- Blindfold them
- Ask children to spread themselves out
- Turn light back on & take blindfold off
- Ask person to walk to other side of the room without touching anyone
- Ask whether they managed and whether it was easy
- Get everyone to sit down again
- Ask everyone which was easier: first or the second?
Wasn’t everything so much easier when the light was turned on and you could see? When everything is dark and you don’t know where you’re going, you bump into everything, don’t you! When the light is on and you can see what you’re doing, doing what I asked was so much easier, wasn’t it. Imagine if, when you were walking to the other side of the room, I told you that there was a really cool prize if you get to the other side But, the people you are walking past are poisonous. You would definitely want to take care, wouldn’t you? And I bet you would be happier if you were the person who was able to walk through with the lights on. With the light, you can go where you need and not get into trouble.
In the Bible, in John chapter 8 verse 12, Jesus said this: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Whether you are Muslim or Christian or any other religion, most people are hoping to get to Paradise. They think there is a great prize they are hoping to get one day. Jesus agrees with that. There is the great prize of eternal life to be gained by people and there is a way to gain that prize from God.
But just like what happened when we were walking across the room, if we walk in darkness, we’ll have no idea where we’re going. We’ll bump into everything on the way. We won’t even make it to the other side. We’ll be totally lost. But Jesus says that he is the light of the world. He is saying – just like when we turned the light on – the way to get to Paradise safely is by walking in the light. By being able to see where we are going.
Jesus said very clearly: “I am the light of the world”. In other words, if you want to get to Paradise – if you want the prize that God wants you to have – you need to be walking in the light. Jesus is that light. Jesus is the light that leads to life. Jesus is the light that leads to Paradise. Jesus is the light that leads us to God.
If we trust in ourselves to get ourselves to God, we’re like people wandering around in the dark, unable to see where we’re going. We’re like blind men walking by the edge of a cliff. But if we trust in Jesus alone to make us right with God, it as though God turns the lights on for us and we can find our way to him. Not because we have done anything to make ourselves right with him, but because God turned on the light in Jesus.
Today, as the world is celebrating evil and darkness, we wanted to invite you into Bethel Church for some fun, and some games, but most importantly of all, so that you can see the light is so much better than the darkness. Jesus is better than evil. Jesus is better than trying to follow rules blindly. Following Jesus is better than trying to find our own way to God. We hope you’ve had fun with us this evening, but we hope even more that you will think about Jesus as the light of the world and how believing in him is the way to truly find God, to please him and to get to paradise in the end.
I have some copies of John’s gospel. John spent three years with Jesus, following him round and writing down what he heard Jesus say and saw Jesus do. John talks a lot about light and darkness in his gospel. If you would like to read a little bit more about who Jesus is and why he’s better than the darkness, I’d love to give you a copy of what John wrote down about Jesus.