Gospel: Matthew 5:13-20 Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9a
I invite the kids to act out:
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” Jesus came to bring light and hope to people who are struggling and for us to share that light, too.
Act out the light shining. What might that look like?
It isn't just about actual light from the sun, but being the light is a way of life. The things we're good at and that we work really hard on are like a light giving hope to people, helping them, and bringing happiness to them.
There is a song I want to teach you called “This little Gospel light of mine.” Sing some of it for them and have them repeat it.
This little light of mine comes from the Bible reading we just read, “You are the light of the world.”
It became a song of the Civil Rights Movement. Some people were telling others they weren't as good as them because of the color of their skin, but lots of people knew that wasn't true and they sang this song to say, “God made us all, no matter our skin color. We all have gifts. We all have a light to shine, gifts to share, hope and love to give.” People sang that song to remind themselves that they are the light and to tell those who were being unkind that God loved and valued them and no one could take away that light.
This song has been sung many times over the years. It was sung again by an artist named Odetta, and along with her sang the Harlem Boys Choir, on television a couple of days after our country was attacked on September 11, 2001. Lots of people felt afraid and angry and were hurting, but those kids sang that song to say, “Nothing can stop God's light shining. We're going to sing. We're going to have hope and God's light will keep shining.”
It is always a good time to shine God's light, because there are always people who need it who are having problems. We shine a light when we help people who are hungry or cold or sad or alone or sick or afraid or lost or fighting. We have reason to hope because God's light never runs out of batteries and that's the light that shines through us.
When I was a little girl, my grandma had prisms hanging from candle holders on her dining room table and when the sun came in the window, they would make rainbows all over the room. I am giving you each a prism to remind you that God's light is shining and you are like a prism, when it shines through you, you make rainbows that bring joy and hope to others. You are shining with God's light when you sing, play, smile, share, learn, and just be you. Thank you for shining God's light and giving us hope.