This was the last Messy Church before Christmas and so called for a Christmas theme. But on this occasion, instead of taking the traditional nativity story, the session was based on the account in John’s gospel in which the coming of Jesus is likened to “Lighting up the World”. We looked at all sorts of aspects relating to light.

Each child decorated a jam jar and put a battery-powered tea-light inside it to show up the decorations. There was also the chance to make a finger puppet wearing very sparkly clothing which reflected light according to the colour light shone on it. There was plenty of glitter scattered about as children enthusiastically decorated stars made from twigs. The older ones enjoyed experimenting with shadow puppets, projecting shadows onto a sheet to make amazing images. There was also the chance to play with coloured lights and determine the effect that each colour produced. Many enjoyed the puzzle table which involved colouring a picture of a candle.

For the worship, the church lights were dimmed and we entered the church with our lights to give a wonderful glow. The service used pictures to describe a variety of things that light can do for us – see in the dark as with floodlights; warn us of danger and tell us where we are as with a lighthouse; Give us guidance to keep us safe as with traffic lights; Set a mood as with theatre or disco lights. The coming of God on earth in Jesus brought light to the world which enables us to see his purpose better, to give us guidance, to help us find our way and to offer us comfort as well as to challenge us. We remember all this at Christmas in the light of the star which led the shepherds and the wise men to find the baby Jesus.

There followed a substantial meal of chicken and pasta with peas and sweetcorn followed by an ice-cream sweet with a biscuit star.