When each of my children was around 5 years old, we did a “Names of Jesus” unit together during our Advent homeschool time. Each day we would focus on a different name that Jesus is called in the Bible, such as shepherd, king, Alpha and Omega, or light of the world. Each lesson had an activity, craft, or lesson associated with it, most of which I’ve forgotten now … except for the object lesson I used for “Light of the World.”
To begin this lesson, we would look at Bible verses together such as John 9:5, where Jesus says, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” It was very clear to even a young child that Jesus understood his role in the world as a light to shine in the darkness. I then proposed that we go into the darkest room in the house, a small bathroom with no windows. Always eager to get up and move, and intrigued by continuing the lesson in the bathroom (of all places!), each child would eagerly comply.
A lesson to remember
Once in the bathroom, I would flip on the light, close the door, and we’d notice together the 120 watts of brightness—brightness that lit up every nook and cranny of the small space. We noticed how the bright light illuminated everything, including the shiny faucets, the pretty shower curtain, the dust on the shelves, and the dark corners of the cabinet. We talked about how Jesus’ light brightens our lives and helps us see, but also exposes things we might rather not see. We expressed our gratitude that we had such a bright light to make this room cozy, familiar, and easy to use any time of day or night. And then, I gave them the news that I was going to turn out the light.
Each child, without exception, looked at me with a bit of fear and asked, “Turn out the light? And leave the door closed?”
“Yes, that’s what I mean,” I responded. “It’s going to get very dark in here. But I won’t leave, and I promise I’ll keep talking to you. Are you ready?”
Now, every child is different, but even my bravest offspring were a little hesitant to be in the pitch-black darkness even though they knew I was with them. Then I flipped the switch, and we were in the dark.
After a few seconds I heard: “Mommy? How long will we be in the dark? Can we turn on the light soon?” It was then that I told them I had brought a little match with me. It was nothing like the bright light bulbs we were used to, but still … maybe it would make a small difference?…