Week of December 29, 2019: The Goodness of Darkness (Ages 11-18)

Updated: Mar 25

Faith To Go Podcast: The Goodness of Darkness

Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar, and joined the each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go Podcast highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the week.

Reads: Hanukkah Lights 2019

From NPR


1) Which of the Hanukkah Lights stories resonated with you the most?

2) Why is light such a central theme in Hanukkah?

3) Where did you see themes of both darkness and light in these stories?

4) Could you see God's movement and presence in both dark and light?

5) What stories of darkness and light did these stories bring up from your life?

Views and Qs: Why Light Needs Darkness

Watch this video together and then use the discussion questions below to reflect as a family.

Discussion Questions:

1) What does Rogier Van Der Heide say about the relationship between light and dark?

2) Why is it important to have both?

3) Where else in the world and creation do you see the importance of both dark and light?

4) What reasons does Rogier give for wanting to preserve darkness?

5) Do you think it is important to preserve the darkness? Why or why not?

Feast and Faith: A Light in the Darkness

For this week’s dinner discussion, we are talking about the first chapter of John's gospel and the interplay of light and darkness in our lives.

Prayer -

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty:

Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works;

that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve

you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all

things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

(For Joy in God's Creation, BCP pg. 814)

Discussion –

In the first verses of John's gospel we get a glimpse into the cosmic reality that underlies the life of Jesus. John tells of the Word which was in the beginning with God and was God. This Word was life, and the light that enlightens all people, and this light shines in the darkness. There is a regular interplay between light and darkness, but instead of totally removing darkness, the light dwells within darkness, neither one overcoming the other. Here we see that both light and darkness play an important role in our spiritual lives and in the life of the universe:


1) What are some times that you would describe as times of darkness in your life?

2) Was there any new growth in you or in your life that came out of those times?

3) During those times of darkness, could you recognize any light in the midst of it?

4) How have you experienced the importance of both darkness and light in you life?

5) Looking back, did you learn more and grow more in times of darkness of times of lightness?

Final Nugget: In this final week of the Christmas season, can you recognize God dwelling in the darkness?

Stay and Pray: A Devotion for Families at the Close of the Day Each week we feature a way for your family to reflect and pray together. For families with older children this is an at home liturgy for your family to participate in together. It is a daily devotion for families adapted from The Book of Common Prayer.

Before you begin, take a few moments to decide who will read the scripture reading and who will read the collect and closing.

Read the Psalm and Lord's Prayer in unison.

After a moment of silence, begin with the Psalm.

Psalm 147:13-21

(read in unison)

13 Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; *

praise your God, O Zion;

14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *

he has blessed your children within you.

15 He has established peace on your borders; *

he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

16 He sends out his command to the earth, *

and his word runs very swiftly.

17 He gives snow like wool; *

he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *

who can stand against his cold?

19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *

he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.

20 He declares his word to Jacob, *

his statutes and his judgments to Israel.

21 He has not done so to any other nation; *

to them he has not revealed his judgments.



(read by assigned person)

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.

Prayers for Ourselves and For Others (take this time to each offer one person/event that you would like to hold in prayer as well as one thing you are thankful for)

Dear God, tonight I ask your prayers for.......

and I give you thanks for ..........


The Lord’s Prayer

(read in unison)

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy Name,

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.


The Collect

(read by assigned person)

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Share some of your conversations in the comments below:

#Ages1118 #Christmas1


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