a number of flashlights, different sizes, shapes and colors
a large one, smaller one, still smaller one
and one with mud smeared on the lens.

batteries, 2 weak batteries for one flashlight in particular
a piece of material for one of the larger lights
a quarter to scotch tape on one lens
tiny bonnet from a doll's outfit
green cellophane (few inches square)

Boys and girls, I want to introduce to you this morning a number of members of a very special family. Here they are on this special stand. They are members of the flashlight family. Here they are. We have Mr. and Mrs. Light, sister light, several brother lights. I think that each of these flashlights as they appear to you this morning and turn on to you will have a very special message.

First, our scripture comes from 1 John 2:9 and 10. "A man may say, 'I am in the light, but if he hates his brother he is still in the dark. Only the man who loves his brother dwells in light.'"

Now, first Mr. Light takes his stand before us. We will let him turn on for us.....(but no light)...what is happening. Mr. Light, shine for us, please. I wonder what could be the matter? (Did I hear one of you say check the batteries?" OK, Well, now, you are absolutely correct. There are NO batteries. Wow. No wonder Mr. Light is not shinning. He has to have batteries, right?

Does anyone have extra batteries? (Have one child hold up batteries which were given to him/her before the service.) Oh yes, "Do you always carry batteries with you? (ha.)" Let's put the batteries in. Now, what is the matter?? He is turned one, but alas, no light! (show flashlight to kids - this time with the lens facing toward them) What's the trouble? Well, look at this. Something is on the lens. What is it? A quarter. Do you know why Mr. Light doesn't shine very bright? Well, not only did he need batteries, but he had the love of money so much that it was marring his light. Oh me.....I think we should go to Mrs. Light.

Mrs. Light, will you shine for us, please? Mrs. Light is not shining very brightly, is she? What seems to be her trouble. This bonnet that is on her lens is just hindering the light from coming out. Let's turn to one of the children. Sister Light. Sister Light. Let's turn you on. Boys and girls, sister Light doesn't give out much light either. Why? There is a green film over her lens. Do you know what green symbolizes sometimes? It symbolizes jealousy. Sometime yellow is use, too. Have any of you children ever found yourself jealous? It does happen. If so, that hinders you shining brightly for Jesus.

Let's go to Brother Light. Oh me. We have the same trouble. Why - well, here the reason. Look at the lens. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

His twin brother Light is last. Let's see what happens when we turn his light on. LOOK - bright and clear. Why is it shining so bright? He is clean and good. Now, that is the kind of light we want.

You see, once he was dirty on the inside - that is his soul. But he gave his heart to Jesus and Jesus saved him and cleansed him so he can shine.

Boys and girls there is a song we sometimes sing, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let is shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

Your light can shine and brightly too, if you keep your lift clean ever so clean by Jesus. Plus you keep yourself strong on the inside - like batteries on the inside of the flashlight -by Jesus. You see, he energizes your inner self.

So, this has been the flashlight family. Mr. Light, not charged up very much and then concerned about money. Mother light, worries about appearance and clothes. Sister light is jealous and envious and one brother was dirty. But there was one who did shine brightly.

I hope, boys and girls, that you are the member of the family that shines ever so brightly, so that other members of the family may follow your shinning example.




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