devozine

For Youth Workers Post

LOOKING FOR LIGHT

Darren Wright

“In the Habit” session for use with devozine meditations for March 30–April 5, 2015.

MAKING THE CONNECTION

“‘Looking for Light’—More often, we struggle to find things in the dark; light, however, you don’t need to look for. Or do we sometimes allow the darkness to surround us in a way that makes even seeing the light hard? This session is all about recognizing the light and the dark around us.” —Darren

MEET THE WRITER

darrenDarren Wright is a Uniting Church Education Worker serving in the Riverina Presbytery in New South Wales, Australia, as the Presbytery Youth and Children’s Ministry Worker. Darren has previously worked in congregational ministry, high school chaplaincy and local government as a youth worker. He has also been a petrol station attendant, supermarket employee, dairy manager, furniture sales person. His interests include music (Moby, Radiohead, Ben Harper, The National, Muse, All India Radio), film (MegaMind, Harry Potter, How to Train your Dragon, Scott Pilgrim), TV (Chuck, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Community), theology, pop-culture, working with young people in at-risk areas, and connecting the church and theology with pop culture. Learn more on Darren’s blog.

STUFF YOU WILL NEED

  • one large candle
  • smaller candles
  • matches
  • flashlights
  • glow sticks
  • anything else that creates light
  • (optional) drinks and snacks
  • a Bible
  • a copy of “May You Find a Light,” by The Brilliance
  • equipment to play the music
  • Print-Friendly Version of this session

PLUGGED IN

Picture Books that Explore the Theme of Darkness

  • Orion and the Dark, by Emma Yarlett. A little boy faces up to his fear of the dark and makes a friend, who takes him on an adventure and changes everything.
  • The Dark, by Lemony Snicket. Laszlo is afraid of The Dark. The Dark lives in the basement of his house and, at night, comes out from the basement. This is another tale of finding out that the dark is not that frightening.
  • The Duck and the Darklings, by Glenda Millard is a beautiful story about a community of people who live underground and have forgotten how the light feels. Into their lives comes a duck and with it memories of warmth and light, of a time when the community didn’t live in the ground and a different world.


A Playlist: Songs About Light

CHECKING IN 

Set out one large unlit candle. Light a few smaller candles around it; leave a few unlit. Turn on one or two flashlights or glow sticks. As people arrive, welcome them and offer drinks and snacks, if this is your custom.

Invite group members to talk about the week’s readings from devozine.
       What inspired you, challenged you, or helped you?

If you like, read one of the picture books or play one of the songs listed in the “Plugged In” section as part of your gathering activity.

EXPLORING THE WORD

Scripture: Genesis 1:1–5

Gather the group around the candles and lights.

Read aloud Genesis 1:1–5. Then read these words from the Godly Play Creation Story script, and light the larger candle as directed below.

       On the very first day, God gave us the gift of light. (Light the candle)
       So now there is not just darkness, but there is light and dark.
       Now, I don’t mean just the light in the light bulb or in the car lights at night. I don’t mean just this light or that light, but I mean all of the light that is light. God gave us the gift of the light that all light comes from.
       When God saw the light, God said,
       “It is good.”
       And that was the end of the first day.

Invite group members to reflect in silence.
       When have you felt the darkness taking over? When was finding the light a struggle?
       When have you found light in your life?
       What inspires light or darkness in you? (perhaps they will name a TV show, a song, a task, a person)

Bring the group together to talk about stories of darkness and light. As they do, ask them to light a candle (for a story of light) or to turn off a flashlight or blow out a candle (for a story of darkness).

SHARING IN PRAYER 

Play “May You Find a Light,” by The Brilliance.

Read as a Benediction these words from this week’s meditations in devozine:

“Hear the good news: You don’t have to walk through the darkness alone. You don’t need to stumble around, looking for light and landing in still darker places. Light shines in the darkness. Hope glimmers in hopelessness. You can lean on other people, and they will give you strength. You can lean on God. God is the light in the darkness.”
Wesley Overhults (Lexington, Kentucky)

TAKING IT FURTHER 

Ask group members to make a decision that every day this week they will endeavor to watch the sun set and the sun rise and as they do to remember the times of light and darkness in the day gone by. Invite them to take a photo of the sunset and sunrise every day and to post them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or to bring them to the next session.

 

—from devozine In the Habit (March/April 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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