How about this for a sparkly way of looking at the Light and the World:
You will need:
Christingles for everyone, and the means to light them
A small vial of iron powder – you can buy this online. Use powder rather then iron filings.
Start with your vial of iron powder – show it, sprinkle some between your fingers, back into the container. Explain what it is – it looks just like dust. In fact, it’s what the earth’s core is made of. It’s the most common element in our planet. It’s earth-dust, nothing more; we might remember that the Bible tells of God making the first human being from dust. You can’t get anything more earthy than this. It’s grey and dull, really. It doesn’t look like anything special. It doesn’t look like it’s going to do anything cool. Not on its own, anyway.
But look what happens when we introduce the dust of the earth to the light of the world. (Light your own Christingle at this point, dim the lights, and carefully sprinkle some of the iron powder into the flame – it’s worth practicing before the service so you get the right amount – the iron should turn to bright orange sparks, clearly visible in a dark church. You may need to get someone to hold your christingle for you so you have your hands free to do the sprinkling).
The dust of the earth comes alive when it touches the light of Christ – Jesus came into the world to bring it to life, to bring energy and joy to places that were grey and lifeless. When Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world’ he meant that he was bringing the light of heaven right into the midst of earth’s darkness. When he said ‘you are the light of the world’ he meant that he could transform our dull dustiness into bright shining sparks of God’s love in the world!
At this service, we turn from dust to sparkles! The light of Jesus is with us, and is bringing us to life, so that we can bring his light and life to the dark places of this world – that’s our life’s work, and we do it in the transforming love and power of Jesus. So shine as lights in the world to the glory of God the Father!
As an added bonus, here’s an extra verse you can add to This Little Light of Mine, that reflects the message of the iron powder talk:
When I am feeling dull and grey,
and sunshine seems so far away,
when I don’t know quite where to start,
I remember the stardust in my heart:
all it needs is a tiny spark
to get me shining in the dark,
So Jesus, give me your fire divine
to let my little light shine!