The last prophesy before Jesus was born called him the Sun of Righteousness. Fittingly, it evokes light, life, warmth—and danger.
Tonight I’ll be speaking briefly in the candlelight service at my church. I’m giving a talk for the kids around the Advent candle.
Of course, in such situations one is always speaking to the adults in the service, too. That will especially be the case this year, since the theme of my talk—Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness—is a bit more abstract than most talks I give for kids. Still, I’ll try to put it in child-friendly language, all the while realizing that it can be good for all of us, no matter how old, to hear the gospel afresh in simple terms.
With that in mind, here’s my script for tonight:
This month we’ve lit the outer candles in the wreath as we wait for Christmas. Tonight the waiting is over and soon we’ll light the center candle. It’s called the CHRIST candle. It’s for Jesus.
In the Bible, during the time of waiting for Jesus to be born God sent a prophet named Malachi. Listen to what Malachi said about Jesus, who was coming. “For you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” (Malachi 4:2).
Malachi called Jesus the SUN of righteousness. S-U-N. Like the sun that shines in the sky. Isn’t that a strange thing to call a person? But it fits Jesus because Jesus is way important and the sun is way important.
Ask: What’s good about the sun? (kids answer)
The sun gives light to the whole world. The sun is also warm and it gives life to the whole world. Malachi says it rises with healing in its wings.
Jesus is like that! He comes to people who need help. He shows how very kind and warm God is! When Jesus came he healed sick people. He made some dead people come alive. He was always so eager to help people who needed him and called to him.
Most of all, Jesus let himself be killed on the cross to take the punishment we deserve for the way we’ve done things that are bad and selfish. Then he came alive again—so anyone who believes in him can live forever with God. This means that tonight we don’t have to worry if we’re good enough to come to God. We trust Jesus. HE is good enough. He’s warm and kind. He’s life. He’s the sun.
But there’s something else I think is important for us tonight as we think about Jesus.
Ask: Is the sun always safe? (kids answer)
It’s not safe if you ignore the sun. You might get sunburned. Or your plants might dry up and die in the sun. And you’ll burn up if you fly a spaceship into the sun, right?
Jesus is like the sun that way too. Malachi also talked about fire. It isn’t safe to just pretend with Jesus. When we hear how powerfully good he is—how he’s the Sun—we need to take him seriously.
Sometimes that’s hard to do. So before we light the Christ candle I want us all to pray that God would help us to see Jesus tonight in a way that’s meaningful, not pretend.
(Pray for the service here)
We’ll light the Christ candle now. (light candle)
And at the end of the service you might get your own candle, if your mom or dad or whoever you came with decides you can be safe with it—because a candle is a little bit dangerous too. It’s fire, like the sun. If you get one I know you’ll take it seriously, won’t you?
And that would be a good time to seriously pray again that God would help you to see how bright and warm and good Jesus is.
That script is a kids’ version of something I wrote for Christmas last year that’s stuck with me since. The idea comes originally from a Jonathan Edwards sermon. I hope it encourages you as it has me. Have a merry and Christ-filled Christmas!
Thoughts? Please share or comment below. I love feedback and discussion—it’s how we learn from each other! (Pick any name you like, and no one but me will see your email address—and I won’t use it, I promise)