The Mad Scientist Presents: MAD ABOUT JESUS: Scientific Object Lessons to Teach Biblical Truths By Daniel A. Briere
Object Lesson 4: “This Little Light of Mine”
We all need to let the light of Jesus shine to show others how Jesus has transformed our lives, for only together can we fulfill God’s plan.
We all need to let the light of Jesus shine. If we let it extinguish, we become more susceptible to worldly things coming in to fill the void. The same is true in science. A lit candle that sits is a pool of water is extinguished when a vase is placed over it. The loss of the flame (heat) creates a void that is filled by the rising water. But having this light is not enough to fulfill God’s plan, for many are needed to provide sufficient power to change the world. The same is true for science. This is called synergism and can be demonstrated using both a rubber ball and a bag experiment.
What is light?
How is Jesus like a light inside us?
How can we share the good news of Jesus?
“For God, Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made His Light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
“God is Light; in Him there is no darkness.” 1 John 1:5
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Light of Jesus Experiment:
Candle (birthday candles work well)
Lighter or matches
Baking dish or plate with low sides (clear is preferred)
Clear glass vase (preferably one with a narrow neck and larger base)
Container full of water (pitcher)
Fire extinguisher (for safety)
Rubber Ball Experiment:
AstroblasterTM (available at www.stevespanglerscience.com)
Wind bagTM (available at www.stevespanglerscience.com)
Also could use Diaper GenieTM refills. Just cut to an 8-12 foot length.
Light of Jesus Experiment:
Light the candle and use drops of wax to adhere candle to center of dish. Extinguish the candle. Place the dish on the display table in front of the audience. Place water onto dish surrounding the candle (practice a few times to know the amount if water to add). Add food coloring to the water. Have glass vase, lighter or matches, and fire extinguisher within easy reach.
Rubber Ball Experiment:
Unpack the AstroblasterTM toy. Carefully pull apart the balls, keeping the stick attached to the largest ball. Most toys will have a blue (largest connected to the stick), green (second largest), yellow (second smallest), and red (smallest) ball. Place all balls on display table.
Unroll one Wind bagTM or cut an 8-12 foot length of a Diaper GenieTM refill. Knot off one end creating only one opening. Inflate using mouth or method learned below. Deflate. Neatly gather bag up and put on display table.
1. “Hey kids, today I will do 3 amazing science experiments.”
2. “The first experiment will teach you about the light that God gives each of us.”
3. “The second and third experiments will show you the power that can come from using this light together to change the world.”
4. “Are you ready?”
5. “Ok, let’s get started.”
Nature abhors a vacuum
6. “There is a classic saying in science; ‘nature abhors a vacuum’.”
7. “That simply means that everything in God’s universe needs to be filled.”
8. “Even outer space is actually filled with tiny molecules of gas.”
9. “The same is true with us.”
10. “We are filled with all sorts of chemicals, gases, and other substances.”
Filled with Christ
11. “But those of us who know Christ are filled with something special, something that fills us completely, all the crevices, cracks, and holes.”
12. “For God said in 2 Corinthians 4:6 ‘let light shine out of darkness’ . . . in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
13. “So, we become an overflowing geyser of the Lord, filled with a ‘light’ so powerful that all we want to do is to spread his word to those around us.”
14. “You remember the song, don’t you? ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let is shine'”
Light going out
15. “However, if we are not careful our light can become diminished, less bright.”
16. “How can our light start to go out?”
17. “Well, it might get less bright by not going to church, hanging around the wrong kinds of friends, not obeying your parents, not praying, or just not reading your Bible.”
18. “If we are not too careful, we may loss this light entirely.”
19. “Once this light is gone we start to feel empty.”
20. “So, what do you do when you feel empty?”
21. “Well, what if you lose your bike?”
22. “Does it make you feel better if you get a new bike for your birthday?”
23. “Do you feel full?”
25. “But, what happens when you lose your light, when you lose your connection to God by not going to church, not praying, or not reading your Bible?”
26. “Will a new bike help?”
27. “Well, maybe for a short time, but it passes.”
28. “It is not eternal.”
29. “It does not last.”
Keep them bright
30. “So, how can we keep our lights shining brightly?” Wait for a response.
31. “How about reading the Bible, obeying our parents, going to church, helping others, and simply praying.”
Candle experiment: light candle
32. “Ok, let’s briefly turn down the shades and turn off the light.” Assign one volunteer to turn off the light, briefly.
33. “We are now in darkness.”
34. “Now let’s see what one light can do.” Light the candle.
35. “See, one light shines very brightly.”
36. “It pierces the darkness so that even one little candle light can fill the room with light.”
37. “1 John 1:5 says ‘God is Light; in Him there is no darkness.'”
38. “Ok, let’s turn the light back on” Have volunteer turn on the light.
Candle experiment: extinguish candle
39. “But, what if I start to lose my connection with God by not praying, going to church, or reading my Bible.”
40. “What is going to happen to my light?”
41. “Let’s see.” Cover the lit candle with the vase.
42. “Wow, what just happened?” Wait for a response.
43. “Yes, the water went in.”
44. “Isn’t that just like we try to do to fill the void ourselves?”
45. “But it is not the same, is it?”
46. “Only when we remove the covers can we ignite the light, spread the word, and REALLY feel full again.” Remove the jar and relight the candle. It may take some effort if it became wet.
47. “So, what have we learned?” Wait for a response.
48. “Yes, do not let your light go out.”
49. “How can we keep our light bright?” Wait for a response.
50. “Yes, by going to church, reading the Bible, and praying.”
51. “Ok, now what can we do with this light?”
52. “We can do some amazing things now.”
53. “For one, we can help teach about Jesus Christ to others.”
54. “For God says in Matthew 5:16 ‘let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.'”
55. “What do we call it when we go places and teach others about Jesus?” Wait for a response.
56. “Yes, we call it a mission.”
57. “So, are we ready to go on a mission?” Wait for a response.
58. “What do we need for our mission?” Wait for a response.
59. “Well, there are the missionaries to actually go to the site, the fundraisers to get the money, the donators who give money, and the people who pray for the mission.”
60. “There are a lot of lights, aren’t there?”
Why so many are needed
61. “So, why involve so many people when one light seems pretty bright?
62. “Well, let’s explore this a bit.”
63. “Here I have a small rubber ball.” Show the YELLOW (second smallest) ball of the AstroblasterTM.
64. “Now we all know that rubber balls bounce.”
65. “In fact, when I hold it out in front of me and drop it on the table it bounces.” Extend your arm straight out and drop the YELLOW ball onto the display table, grabbing it after the first bounce.
66. “But, notice that it did not bounce as high as the point in which I dropped it.”
67. “Let’s see it again.” Again, extend your arm straight out and drop the ball onto the display table, grabbing it after the first bounce.
68. “I let go of it here and it bounces, but it only gets to here. Humm.” Show ‘here’ and ‘there’
69. “Do you think that it I dropped a bigger ball it would bounce as high as I dropped it from? Extend your arm straight out and drop the GREEN (third smallest) ball onto the display table, grabbing it after the first bounce.
70. “How about a smaller one? Humm.” Extend your arm straight out and drop the RED (smallest) ball onto the display table, grabbing it after the first bounce.
71. “So, even with this power of bounce given to the ball from gravity, or for us, the power of our light given to us from God, we are limited.”
Hit the ceiling
72. “What if the only way we could convince someone to accept Jesus as their savior was to really shine?”
73. “What if one of these balls has to hit the ceiling using gravity alone with no help from me?”
74. “How can the ball do that?”
75. “Well, what if we get several balls to work together.”
76. “Maybe the power of one ball can push another ball.”
77. “Here, let’s link several balls together.” Assemble the AstroblasterTM.
78. “Now we know that each ball alone cannot go as high as my hand, right?”
79. “But maybe if they work together they can get enough power for one of the balls to do it?”
80. “Let’s see what happens.” Extend your arm straight out and drop the assembled AstroblasterTM onto the display table, grabbing the small ball as soon as possible to avoid hysteria.
81. “Wow, we hit the ceiling.”
82. “Let’s do it again.” Again, extend your arm straight out and drop the assembled AstroblasterTM onto the display table, grabbing the small ball as soon as possible to avoid hysteria.
83. “Now all their lights are working together to give maximal power!!!!”
84. “In science we call this effect ‘synergism’.”
85. “That is, each is working toward a common goal that neither can do alone, but when working together the goal is easily met.”
86. “Now, maybe it is hard to see what this means for us, so let’s try one more effect.”
87. “Here I have a giant bag that is tied at one end.”
88. “Now I need a volunteer.”
89. “Ok, you.” Pick a volunteer.
90. “Now, please sit in this chair and blow up this bag.”
91. “Go ahead, I know it is big but you have a pretty big light.” Wait a few moments.
92. “Ok, so it is going to take a lot of time and effort for you to do this.”
93. “How many breaths do you think it will take?”
94. “How much time?”
95. “What if I were to tell you that this audience could inflate this bag in one breath, if we work together; would you believe me?”
96. “It will be synergism at its best.”
97. “Ok, well let’s practice first.”
98. “I will hold the bag like this so I will be able to catch all your breaths at once.” Grab the opening in the Wind bagTM and hold it open as wide as possible using both hands. Turn away from the audience so the opening now faces them.
99. “Now, I need my volunteer to hold the other end of the bag.” Direct the volunteer to hold the other end of the Wind bagTM by the knot at the end, keeping the bag suspended in the air between you and the volunteer (to aid air entering the bag).
100. “Ok, when I count to ‘three’ we all blow.”
102. “Ok, one, two, three, BLOW.” Making sure the bag opening is still facing the audience, and keeping the bag opening about 6″ from your mouth, take one deep breath and blow as long and hard as you can. As soon as the bag appears full, grab the opening and pinch it shut. Show the inflated bag to the audience.
104. “So, it would have taken one of us many breaths and lots of time to blow up this bag, but by working together we were able to blow it up in one breath.”
In the real world
105. “Now imagine how this would work out in the real world.”
106. “You talk to your friend about Jesus, showing him YOUR light.”
107. “Eventually, your friend agrees to come with you to church, where he hears our senior minister, our youth minister, our children’s director talk about God and meets more friends, seeing their LIGHT.”
108. “The next thing you know your friend comes to church another week, then another, then another.”
109. “He is surrounded by LIGHT”
110. “Eventually your friend accepts Jesus and becomes baptized.”
111. “Then your friend is the one going out and inviting his friends to church.”
112. “He is the LIGHT for others to see.”
113. “You see, you have a lot of power, if you keep your light strong.”
114. “But when many lights come together, truly great things can happen.”
115. “So, keep you light strong and work as a group, for only as one can God’s plan comes together.”
116. “Well, I better get back to the lab.”
117. “I have lots to do to prepare for my next experiment.”
118. “You see, I think I discovered a mysterious seed that grows instantly when you add water.”
119. “I just need to work the kinks out.”
120. “I will see you again soon.”
1. A demonstration of the effect of the light of Jesus experiment and more detailed instructions can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPbMvchZb6A
2. Concept for AstroblasterTM and WindbagTM obtained from Steve Spangler Science. See http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1892 and http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1479
Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to the ‘mad scientist’ at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mad About Jesus Laboratories
By Daniel A. Briere