Introduction

Did you ever get up at night in the dark? If you don’t turn on a light, you might stub your toe! Has anyone here done that? (Let volunteers answer.)

What can we do to avoid it? Yes, we might use a flashlight or turn on the lamp beside our bed. But sometimes, when we’re very sleepy or when we don’t want to awaken our little sister or brother, we might not turn on a light. Then we’re in danger of stumbling over toys or walking into furniture.

Getting to the Heart

In just a few days (weeks), school will start again. How many of you here are going to school? Some of you are home-schooled and some of you are too young to go to school yet, but most of us will take our backpacks and start back to reading and math and other subjects. We’ll see all our friends again and have fun at recess. Many of us will have a new teacher and maybe even new kids in our class. We might be in a new classroom or maybe even in a new school altogether.

All those new things can be fun, but they can sometimes also feel like walking around in the dark—unfamiliar and maybe even a little bit scary. Will our teacher be fun? Will he or she like us? Will the other kids in our class be helpful and want to play with us, or will they be mean? Will we go to a big, new building and get lost?

See what I mean? A little scary, like walking in the dark.

If we had a light to take along, that might help us relax. Then we could feel safe. And if we felt relaxed, safe, and confident, we could act in friendly ways toward the other kids and our new teachers, too.

I have a light for each of you today. (Show one of the God Lights Our Way” zipper pulls. This zipper pull has some words on it from the Bible. It’s a promise from God. It says:  

Your word is a lamp to my feet
   and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

This Bible verse reminds us that God is always with us to light our way. All that we have learned about him—especially about his love for us in our Savior, Jesus—keeps us safe and secure. When we wonder what to do or how to act, the Holy Spirit will bring back to our minds what we have learned from his Word at home or here at church. When we know we’ve hurt someone else, his Word will help us remember we’re forgiven because Jesus died for us. It will help us apologize to those we’ve hurt and do what we can to make it right. God’s Word will also help us show Jesus’ love to others–and talk about it, too!

God’s Word lights our way—right now and all through the new school year ahead.

Taking It Home

Let’s thank our Savior for that!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thanks for all the fun we had this summer. Thanks, too, that we can go to school and learn many things that will help us grow up to serve you by helping other people. Light our way on the first day of school and every day after that. Teach us to love your Word, to want to know more and more about you, and to share your love with everyone around us. Amen.

Give each child one of the “God Lights Our Way Glow-in-the-Dark Zipper Pulls” and encourage them to attach it to their backpack as a reminder that God’s Word will light their way through all the days and months ahead.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use in your organization as long as you will receive no monetary benefit from it. Please include this copyright line and submit an actual copy of use to CTA, attention Editorial Manager.
Used with permission grant #080911 © 2011 CTA, Inc. No duplication of this devotion is allowed without the express written consent of CTA, PO Box 1205, Fenton, MO 63026. www.CTAinc.com.

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