I have a story to tell you. Or rather, I have a story for you to tell your kids.
But before I tell you the story, here’s a little backstory:
I love to make costumes for my kids. They’re always simple and a little janky up close (the costumes, not the kids -- gotta look out for those misplaced modifiers). The tradition is probably not sustainable longterm, but for now it brings me tons of joy, and (for now) the kids love it, too. This year at my sewing machine, a story started to take shape. (Isn't it interesting how creativity has a way of spilling out in all different directions? I ignored the laundry.)
Adelaide and Greer enjoyed it (okay fine, Adelaide listened intently while Greer jumped on his bed -- someone should tell him to stop doing that), so I thought maybe your kids might enjoy it, too. Sometimes creativity serves no purpose except to bring us joy and remind us of our Creator, and other times we get to show it to people and hope it reminds them of the Creator, too. It’s my prayer that these silly costumes and story help my kids (and your kids if you want to share it with them!) marvel over The Light Man.
God said, “Let there be light!” and there was light.
God created more things. In fact, he created EVERYTHING!
God created a man and a woman. (Can you remember their names?) They were together with God. Everything was wonderful! Everything was bright!
But soon the man and the woman made a dark choice: They decided to disobey God.
Darkness entered the world. The man and woman had to be separate from God, because God is light, and light can’t be together with the dark.
Eventually, it seemed like all the people on earth loved the dark more than the light. In His sadness, God decided to wash away everything He created -- except one man and his family. (Can you remember his name?) They were a part of God’s plan to make things light again.
God told the waters what to do, and they obeyed, covering the earth completely. It destroyed everything. It was scary and dark. The man and his family were afraid! Everything and everyone they’d ever seen was gone -- washed away.
But God did not forget the man and his family. At just the right time, he shone light through the dark skies, and it made something new and special: a rainbow! The rainbow was a sign that said: “I promise I won’t tell the waters to do that again. No matter how dark it gets, I won’t wash everyone away.”
Years and years later, at just the right time, God shone another special light in the sky. It was a sign that said: “Look here! I have given you a light that will make a way for us to be together again! He will bring a different kind of water -- not water that kills but water that brings life, and it will wash the whole world.”
Do you know what that light was? It was a star! It shone in the sky above a baby. (Can you remember his name?)
The baby grew into a Man, and the Man said strange things. While other men loved darkness, this Man said, “I am the Light of the World.” He said, “I give living water.” What did those things mean? Why did He talk like that? It was so strange!
The Light Man didn't make any mistakes, but He made other men mad. Even after all God had shown them, people still loved the dark more than the light. One terrible day, the men who loved darkness killed the Light Man. He was destroyed. It was scary and dark.
But God did not forget His promise. Even though they killed the Light Man, even though things were very dark, God was not going to tell the waters to wash the world away. He was not going to use death water. He was going to use living water -- through the Light Man! The Light Man was going to make a way for the men who loved darkness to be with God again.
But wasn’t the Light Man dead? How would God’s plan work?
Don’t you remember the beginning? God had said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. When God tells light to do something, it obeys. At just the right time, the Light Man stepped out of the grave -- not dead at all! Not anymore.
"WHEN THE LIGHT MAN BURST OUT OF THAT DARK TOMB, THE WHOLE EARTH SHOUTED, 'HOORAY! THE LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS HAS NOT OVERCOME IT!'"
Why was the earth so happy that He was alive? Well, the whole earth loves the Light Man because He was there at the beginning with God when God created everything. The Light Man is God’s Son, His special Boy!
But the earth was so happy for another reason, too. You see, the Light Man never deserved to be destroyed, the way all the other people did. (Can you remember their names? It’s all of us! Me, you, and everyone except the Light Man.) God didn’t want to destroy the whole earth again with the death water, so He allowed the Light Man to be destroyed instead. That’s why He said He brought living water. He can wash away all the bad stuff without destroying us. The Light Man took our place! Because He died, all of us who love darkness do not have to die. Because He lives, we can use His light and be together with God again!
The Light Man is God’s extra special sign, a sign that says: “You love the darkness, but because the Light Man was destroyed in your place, you do not have to be destroyed. Choose light and not darkness, and we can be together again.”
So where is the Light Man now? He lives with his Father God in heaven! But the Light Man doesn’t just live in heaven -- He can live in your heart, too. That’s strange, isn’t it? The Light Man has always been strange. He isn’t like anyone else: He isn’t afraid to bring His light into dark places. His light makes it so we can be together with God again. He washes dirty people clean and gives thirsty people Living Water.
So where is God now? Right now, God is seated on a dazzling throne that roars with lightning and thunder. He still tells the light and water what to do, and they always listen. He still keeps His promises and does things at just the right time.
And you know what else? He still wants to be together with people. (Can you remember their names? Oh yeah! It’s me and you. I am so glad that God sent the Light Man so that we can be together with him.)
God had a plan: a different kind of light and a different kind of washing.