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Family Time with God

January: The Light of Christ

The devotionals on this page and the following page (February, Little Lambs) are designed to guide you and your family through two months of short, simple times with God and each other. Each week?s lesson starts with a member of the family reading the month?s Scripture passage out loud. Then, follow the discussion guidelines for the week.

Look It Up

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John:8:12).

Get Ready

You?ll need one large white candle, one small white taper candle for each family member, including yourself, a candlestick for each candle and matches. Place the large candle at one end of a table and place the smaller candles on each side of the large candle.

Talk It Over

Week 1: The Light of Christ

The large candle is the Christ candle. Before you read this month?s passage, have an older child or adult light the Christ candle and say, "The light of Christ has come into the world." Read the passage, then repeat the phrase, "The light of Christ has come into the world." Use the Christ candle to light the first small candle while saying, "This is Christ?s light for you ________" (add the name of one family member for each candle). Continue lighting all the candles and repeating the phrase. Once all the candles are lit, ask each person, "What does it mean to you to have Christ?s light in your life? How do you feel God?s light in your heart?" Then have each family member blow out his or her candle. Leave the Christ candle burning for a bit longer. Then say, "And Jesus said, ?I am the light of the world.? " End your time with a prayer thanking God for bringing light to the world. Extinguish the Christ candle as you say "Amen."

Weeks 2-4: Shining the Light

Ask a different family member to lead your discussion each week. For young children, have a parent light the Christ candle while the child says the phrase, "The light of Christ has come into the world."

Each week, choose one or two people to be the focus of the discussion. Then ask each of the other family members to talk about the ways the light of Christ shows in the featured person?s life. Talk about how that person is God?s gift of light to your family. Talk about ways you see that person shining Jesus? light in the world. End your time by thanking God for the gift of this family member.

Some ideas for this meditation were adapted from Children & Worship, (educational ministries, inc.) and The Book of Common Prayer.

Remember This

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John:8:12).

Want More?

AGES 3-5:

Hold your child in your lap or hold her hand as you light the Christ candle. Ask her how it felt to sit in darkness and how it feels to sit in the light. How does she feel knowing that God is our light? Sing a song about God?s light in the world, such as "This Little Light of Mine."

AGES 6-9:

Have your child write the "Remember This" verse on a card he can keep in his room. Ask him to make a larger copy of the verse to post on the refrigerator. Then encourage your child to think of ways to teach the verse to the whole family. He could make up a rap, a poem, a song, a skit.

AGES 10-14:

Have your child draw a candle and write out the "Remember This" verse somewhere on her drawing. Encourage her to put it someplace she can see it each day. Ask her questions like: How do you see God working in your life? How do you know it?s God at work? How is God asking you to shine his light on your friends, at school or on someone you don?t like?

FAMILY:

Consider keeping the Christ candle in a prominent place in your home throughout the year. When you or someone you know is struggling with a difficult situation, gather around the candle as a family, light it and say, "The light of Christ has come into the world." Then pray as a family for the concern.

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