A Spark

The smallest spark can create connection and deeper thoughts between us. Artist and writer Kim Kaufmann kindles a few sparks to ponder as we enter into Advent…

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit."

Isaiah 11:1

Advent begins in the dark, with the broken stuff and the dead stuff. A stump is a dead tree and we are a dead people. We cannot make ourselves grow on our own. We cannot find our own light. And so it’s in the deepest darkness that we are most overjoyed to see a sprout of growth and the beginning of the dawn that comes through Jesus’ birth and then as we await his second coming.

Children know that there is something wrong with the world and themselves, that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be. As we enter Advent this year, talk to young people about what they already know about darkness and light. Take a look at the illustration (spark) and consider these thoughts with your people, maybe over your next meal together. Consider choosing one or two of the following sparks:

  • How would you describe this stump?

  • What would you expect to happen to this stump?

  • What surprises you in this image?

  • How does God surprise us?

  • When have you been surprised by light when life seemed very dark?

  • How can you remind yourself that even though things seem dark, new life can come to surprise us?