Scripture: Matthew 5: 14-16
Props: enough LED tea light candles (dollar store) and 1 LED or flame taper (similar to Baptism candle)
Assistance: ask an usher or other worship attendant to turn the lights out at your signal during the Children’s Sermon
Action: As you greet the gathered children, light the Baptism candle from the Christ candle on the altar or table.
Who here gets nervous or anxious or scared sometimes? Maybe even in the dark? [allow for 3-4 responses]
Me too, which is why I light my Baptism candle. When we baptism children and adults here, most of the time Preacher Mike [name your own pastor/reverend] usually focuses on the water, but right at the end of the baptism, one of the elders lights a candle from the table and gives it to the parents or the adult.
Why do you think we do that? [allow for 2-3 responses]
Those are really great answers. Let’s look at the Bible to see what Jesus has to say:
In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus says “You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)
[If you’re using a flame taper, consider including a quick segment focusing on how the acolyte takes the flame from the Christ candle before snuffing out the candles and taking the light out of the church building into the world.]
Now I need your help with a quick experiment and I’ve asked Mr. Mark (sound tech) to help me [Mark turns out the lights in the sanctuary].
[Lead the children to the head of the center aisle so the most adults can see.]
We’re going to pretend for a minute that everyone here who’s not right here in our group, they don’t know who Jesus is or how good and important He is to us.
Okay, I need everyone to gather around in a really tight circle. [place the basket of LED tea lights in the center of the circle.]
Now I need 1 volunteer. Great, thank you, Connor! I want you to hold this one candle here in the circle.
[turn to the congregation] Now we need some help from the congregation this morning. What I want you to do is clap to help us know how much light you can see. So if you see a little light, clap a little. And if you see a lot of light, clap a lot!
Okay, Connor [name of the volunteer], hold your candle up so that as many people as possible can see it. [with all of the children standing, mostly only the children and a few really close adults can see, so the clapping is a little.]
Wow, I didn’t hear much clapping, so they must not be able to see just the one light. Can I get another person to hold up a second candle? Great, thank you, Caroline! Now let’s try again with TWO candles. [little more clapping]
Oh, wow, I heard a little more clapping that time. What if EVERYONE holds up a candle at the same time. [claps and cheers]
Did you hear that?! Wow! I think EVERYONE saw your light that time. That’s what happens when everyone who comes to church shares just one blessing from Jesus with someone else in the world each week. We make a huge bright light that everyone can see and want to follow with us.
Pray with me: Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to be our light and for showing us how to be a light to others. Amen
I delivered this Children’s Sermon on June 19, 2016 at Palmetto Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC.