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Lesson Overview

Light is an essential part of our experience and a necessity for life. We need light to see; it is a source of clarity. In the Scriptures, Our Lord identifies Himself with light, “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world (John 1:9).” 

This image of Christ can be deepened through pondering the nature of light.  The nature of light has been a mystery to physicists for centuries. Your students will reflect on how light is mysterious and inexplicable in its behavior as both a wave and a particle. 

In this lesson, students will explore the nature of light and reflect on what it reveals about our loving Creator.

Lesson Materials

Activity Instructions

A. Begin by creating a prayerful atmosphere and reading aloud to your class the prologue of John’s Gospel (John 1:1-18).

B. Explain to your students that the nature of light is mysterious, and it has fascinated physicists for more than a century. Through experimentation, it has been shown that light has a dual wave-particle nature. This means that light acts as both a particle (photon) and a wave (electromagnetic radiation).

One way light acts as a wave is when it strikes a surface and is reflected to our eyes. When we see an object, it is because light is either coming from it (as its source), light is moving through it, or light is being reflected from it. The light enters our eyes and is interpreted by our brain as vision.

When light is reflected from an object it looks like it is a certain color due to some of the light being absorbed by the object’s surface and other wavelengths of light being reflected. The color of the object is due to the certain wavelengths of light it reflects. If it is black, all light has been absorbed, and if it is white, all light is being reflected.

C. Then, have your students work in pairs or trios to contemplate the images on Wonders of Nature: Images of Light and answer the discussion questions.

D. When they have finished, call on groups to share about their discussions. Allow the conversation to go in unexpected places, while encouraging students to consider why light is so important to us as human beings, and how, where, and why Jesus uses light as an image in the Gospels.

E. Finally, invite students to conduct the experiment described beneath the image of the sunset one evening this week. Encourage them to recall what they discussed today as they record their observations.

Answer Key

  1. Accept reasoned answers.

  2. There are over 200 places in the Bible where light is mentioned. Here are a few examples:

    1. John 8:12

    2. Psalm 119:105

    3. John 1:5

    4. 1 John 1:5

    5. Genesis 1:3

  3. Jesus has a dual nature – He is both truly God and truly man, both human and divine.

  4. The places where most of the light is being absorbed are the darkest places – the trees, the dark parts of the clouds. The places where most of the light is being reflected are the lightest places – the white clouds, the snow on the mountains, his white shirt. The light was reflected off of each object, then reflected again as it struck the surface of the lake. The source of the light is the sun.

  5. The colors of the objects will fade, almost imperceptibly, over time until they will become shades of gray fading into black.


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