Focus Passage: Psalm 27
Memory Verse: “The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?”
Items for Preparation
-A big, dark colored blanket made of very light fabric, such as a camping blanket, which you can unfold and use as a sort of tent to cover you and children during your sermon. If you have a tent, even better. You want to approximate a dark place by going under the blanket.
Read the adult lesson in Nurturing Faith and additional material online. Most kids have been afraid of the dark, if they aren’t still that way, and some of the adults still keep a night light on. Our fears of the dark change over time, from what imaginary monsters might be lurking there, to what we might trip over on our way to the bathroom at 2 a.m. Hey, neither fear is anything to sneeze at.
[Get out your blanket or tent, and get everybody under it with you. Really crowd them in. Once you’re under there, pretend to be a little afraid.]
Say: Sh! Do you hear anything? Hey, what was that? Does anybody think it’s a little scary under here, in the dark? [Allow for answers. Some kids will think this is ridiculous. Just play along and pretend; others of them will catch the spirit of what you are doing, and have a little fun with you.]
Say: When I was little, I was just a little bit scared when it got really dark. I wanted my Mom to open the door just a bit, so I could see a little light. Do any of you feel that way in the dark? Have you ever been afraid? [Allow for answers and stories. When kids give responses, flash your flashlight on as they discuss ways they’ve asked for lights on at night. But then turn it back off, and stay under your cover of darkness.]
Say: Now, I’m a grown-up, but still, when I’m going to sleep, I don’t like the room to be all-the-way dark. I like to have a little night light, because sometimes I get up in the middle of the night, and go to the bathroom, and I don’t want to trip over something and fall flat on my face in the dark! Do any of you feel that way too? [Allow for answers, and again, flashlight on and off as they are given.] Hey, I’m not the only one who has to get up and go to the bathroom in the night.
Say: The Old Testament book of 150 songs is called Psalms, and that word “Psalms” is spelled p-s-a-l-m-s. Here’s a joke: Why can’t you hear Psalms get up and go to the bathroom in the dark? Because the “p” is silent! Ahahahha! [OKAY, OKAY, you can omit this part if you think there are grown-up people in the sanctuary who are not afraid of the dark, do not get out of bed to go to the bathroom, and will not think this is an appropriate joke for the sanctuary. Bless your heart.]
Say instead: The Old Testament book of 150 songs is called Psalms, and that word is spelled p-s-a-l-m-s. The P is silent. In Psalm number 27, we hear today that the psalm writer thought the Lord was his light. The writer said “who shall I be scared of? The Lord is my light.” [Now flash on your flashlight as you say that, and keep it on.]
Say: What do you think that means? [Allow for answers.] I think the writer of Psalm 27 means he isn’t afraid, because he knows God loves him, and even in the dark, God is with him, like a light coming on, making him feel better about being in the dark, like when we open the door or have on a night light. The writer of Psalm 27 felt better, and not afraid, because God loves each of us, and is with us, even here under this dark cover, even without our flashlight, even in the middle of the night, when the door is closed all the way.
[Keep your flashlight on.]
Say: God is our light, and we don’t have to be afraid, we can feel better.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O Comforting God,
We ask for your light
To shine on us when we are afraid.
We thank you for your love
Which gives us comfort and relief.
We will remember your light when it’s dark,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.