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John 1:4 1
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 8:12
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

img227Background

The Apostle John uses a comparison of God, Jesus and light. This lesson is on preparing for the Cantata, sung in preparation for Christmas. To understand what a Cantata is, you can go to a SNAPSHOT of several years ago (CLICK HERE). For this Christmas season, the music of Ruth Elaine Schram was chosen, entitled “The Living Light.” Ruth Schram wrote her first song at the age of twelve, and her first octavo was published twenty years later, in 1988. In 1992, she became a full-time composer and arranger and now has over 2,000 published works. Over seventeen million copies of her songs have been purchased in their various venues, and she has been a recipient of the ASCAP Special Award each year since 1990. In addition to her choral music for church and school choirs, her songs appear on thirty albums (four of which have been Dove Award Finalists) and numerous children’s videos, including sixteen songs on four gold videos, and four songs on one multi-platinum video. Her songs have also appeared on such diverse television shows as “The 700 Club” and HBO’s acclaimed series “The Sopranos.” Called “Ruthie,” she began piano and theory lessons at the age of five. She studied music at Lancaster Bible College and Millersville State College and taught Elementary Music in Pennsylvania for several years. She now lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and two grown daughters.

“The Living Light” is a dramatic musical experience for the Christmas season tells the story of Christ’s birth and examines various reactions to His arrival. This musical is meant to be accompanied by piano. There are brief monologues for ten characters, ranging from Mary and Joseph to members of the Innkeeper’s family, interspersed among the seven songs, each offering their personal perspective on the unusual events surrounding them.
You can see videos of the actual worship services including the sermons for some of the discussion studies below. Click here to see what is available. You can enjoy the music and choir production of this Cantata.

Items for Discussion

  • What are the attributes associated with light that work so well for using it to compare Christ to it?
    • Discussion Ideas are:
      • Sustains life – like the sun
      • Those in the dark cannot hide – Light reveals truth
      • Needed for growth – e.g. photosynthesis
      • Allows us to see the actions of others
      • Overcomes darkness – the human eye can see a single candle at 10 miles
      • Learning is made much easier by sight and light
  • What do we normally associate darkness with and for what reasons?
  • Why does light offer hope and darkness foster fear?
  • Can anything good sustain itself without light?
  • How should the fact that God created light just by His command affect our relationship with God?

Discussion Challenge

  • What are the ways we can celebrate The Light at Christmas?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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