Icebreaker: Group Scrabble
Materials needed: Cardstock scrabble board with the word ENLIGHTEN in the middle, pens or markers
To play: Pass around the paper to each group member and have them say their name and then add it to the scrabble board. Once each person has added their name, pass the board around a second time, having each person add one word that describes them.
The focus verse for this small group lesson is Matthew 5:14-16. Start by reading the verse.
This verse can easily be divided into three sections; Find Your Light, Shine Your Light and Glorify God. For the purposes of this small group, we will be focusing on Find Your Light.
What is Light?
In order to know how to find our light, we need to start by figuring out what light is. Merriam- Webster’s Dictionary gives the following definition of light:
light noun ˈlīt : the form of energy that makes it possible to see things : the brightness produced by the sun, by fire, a lamp, etc. : a source of light (such as an electric lamp) : a light on a vehicle
It goes on to describe light as: something that makes vision possible; a source of light, such as a celestial body; a candle or an electric light, spiritual illumination, such as inner light; enlightenment and truth; and also describes it as problem, a medium (as a window) through which light is admitted, and plural:a particular illumination, something that enlightens or informs (shed some light on the set of principles, standards, or opinions worship according to one’s lights).
Merriam-Webster.com Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/light>.
Discuss: How would you describe light?
Where does Light Come From??
While Webster provides us with a pretty great idea of what light is, we are going to go to the Scripture to find out where light comes from. Today we are going to discuss three different places that light comes from.
1. God is Light
Read Genesis 1: 1-5, 1 John 1:5 and James 1:17
In the beginning, there was no form and no light in what we call the universe. It was just empty nothingness. We see in Genesis 1 that the very first thing God does, after creating the heavens and the earth, is create light. He spoke light into existence and then separated the darkness from the light. God, the creator of everything, is, of course, the creator of light. But it goes even further than that. Not only does light come from God, but God is light. God is pure light, and He exists in light brighter than anyone has ever seen. The first thing God created shows us what He is — LIGHT! And that light changes everything.
How significant is it that one of the first things God did was to create light? What do you think “God is light” means?
Activity: God’s Light Changes Everything
Materials needed: square of sun sensitive fabric, bottle of water
Instructions: This activity needs to take place outside or in an area where sunlight is available, such as near large windows.
1. Have a few members of your group collect some objects from around the study area to “print” on the fabric. (Things like, grass, leaves, flowers, rocks, etc.) Note: you could also have these items collected ahead of time.
2. Remove the fabric from the package, place collected items on top and expose the fabric to the sun.
3.Take 10 minutes to discuss:
God’s light changes every bit of creation it touches. Imagine how different things would be if there was no light from the sun. Take a moment to discuss what would change in our world if the sun didn’t exist. Without the light of God, our world would be lifeless and dull. He lights up not only our physical world, but our spiritual world as well. When our souls are feeling dark, it is he who casts out the shadows and brings us to life again. He has promised to be our help and our guide, and in our darkest times, His light will both guide us and change us. Just like our attitude is different on a cloudy, dreary day, than it is on a bright sunny day, our lives should be totally changed and transformed by the light he shines on us. We should be left looking different than we did before we were touched by his light.
How does what happened in this activity help you understand the Light of God?
How has God’s light changed you or how have you seen God’s light change someone else?