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Music Discussions

Lights
A Quick Music Discussion Guide
03/08/2011

Dynamic ImageMain Point of Discussion: We have a choice to make: we can live in the darkness of sin, or choose the light of Christ. God wants us to live in His light.

The Music Video: Lights (by Ellie Goulding)
Ellie Goulding is a British alternative singer and songwriter from London. Lights, her Top 10 hit on Billboard’s HOT 100 Chart, was actually released back in March of 2011 on a second edition of her album Bright Lights.

In a recent interview, Goulding confirmed that this electronic/pop song originated from her childhood fear of the dark. This explanation is confirmed in some of the song’s lyrics, for instance, “And I'm not sleeping now, the dark is too hard to beat.”
The song appears totally clean, and the music video is a simple one that just shows Goulding dancing and playing instruments.

Introduction to the Music Video:
While passing out a copy of the song’s lyrics, say, “You’ve probably already heard Ellie Goulding’s song Lights, after all, it peaked at #4 on Billboard’s HOT 100 Chart. If you’ve ever wondered what the song was really about, just know that Ellie mentions in an interview that her song is about her childhood fear of the dark. Listen to this song and see if you can relate to the message she sings about being afraid.

The Youtube Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NKUpo_xKyQ

Lights
I had a way then
Losing it all on my own
I had a heart then
But the queen has been overthrown
And I'm not sleeping now
The dark is too hard to beat
And I'm not keeping up
The strength I need to push me

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone
And so I tell myself that I'll be strong
And dreaming when they're gone
'Cause they're calling, calling, calling me home
Calling, calling, calling home
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone

Noises, I play within my head
Touch my own skin
And hope they'll still be there
And I think back to when
My brother and my sister slept
In another place
The only time I feel safe

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone
And so I tell myself that I'll be strong
And dreaming when they're gone
'Cause they're calling, calling, calling me home
Calling, calling, calling home
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone

(Lights, lights, lights, lights, lights, lights)

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone
And so I tell myself that I'll be strong
Dreaming when they're gone
'cause they're calling, calling, calling me home
Calling, calling, calling home
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine them when I'm alone

Home, home
(lights, lights, lights)

Home, home
(lights, lights, lights)

Transitional Statement:
The song reveals a deep fear of the dark that Ellie Goulding had as a child. When she had lights on, she felt safe. When she was in darkness, she was afraid and vulnerable. In the dark, she seems to be wrapped up in fear and she tries to block it out of her mind. It’s only when the lights are on that she feels comfortable and “at home.” There is a powerful message in this song for Christians. We weren’t created for the dark. We were created for the light, and expected to live in it, according to Scripture. As Christians, we should live in God’s light instead of in the darkness of sin.


Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split into our discussion groups, then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, let’s share our names and our favorite game to play in the dark.

  2. ASK A FEW: How many of you can relate to being afraid of the dark as a child?

  3. ASK A FEW: Why do you think as children we were so afraid of the dark?

  4. ASK A FEW: Have you ever been in a really dark place and needed light? What was it like when you got light?

  5. ASK A FEW: What is it about “light” that make us feel so much safer?

  6. ASK A FEW: Do you think more bad things happen during times of darkness or light? Why?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Ephesians 5:8-14

      8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
      10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
      “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

  8. ASK A FEW: How does Paul describe darkness, and what does Paul say happens in the darkness?

  9. ASK SOMEONE: What kind of darkness is Paul talking about here? Is it a literal darkness? (Leaders – No, it seems to be more about what people do in secret.)

  10. ASK A FEW: If Paul was writing this today, what would be some things he might mention as “deeds of evil and darkness”?

  11. ASK A FEW: What does the Bible say happens to the people who live lives of sin in the darkness?

  12. ASK A FEW: Without using names, how have you seen people who have been exposed when the light shines on their darkness?

  13. ASK A FEW: Who gives us light in this passage? How does he do that?

  14. ASK A FEW: We’re told to “carefully determine what pleases the Lord” in this passage. What does that mean and what are some examples of it?

  15. ASK A FEW: Paul says the light within us produces “only what is good and right and true.” What are some traits that are good, right and true?

  16. ASK A FEW: Are there some areas in your life that are in the darkness? How can you expose those areas to the light and live within it?

  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you have friends that are living in the darkness? How can you help them live in the light?

WRAP UP:
Tonight we watched a video about a fear many of us have, the dark. The singer sung about her fear of the dark versus the contentment she feels in the light. It’s a theme that we also hear in the Bible, which compares the life of sin to being in the darkness and living God’s way as living in the light.

The passage we read reminds us that those who choose to live a life of sin will have their lives exposed someday. It certainly didn’t take us long to come up with some people whose sins have been exposed, and those sins that aren’t exposed during our earthly life will be exposed on Judgment Day. So, a life lived in secret sin won’t really stay secret forever.

There’s a much better alternative than living in the darkness, though, and that’s living a life in Christ. Paul describes that life as a life lived in light. Life lived in light produces good things like love, integrity, purity, and trustworthiness. The light will bring out the best in us, instead of the sin that surrounds us. It’s God’s plan that happens when we live in his light. It’s just how He wants us to live.

How many of us are choosing to live in the darkness, though? We’ve chosen sin instead of the life God wants for us. Perhaps you need to choose to live in the light tonight. It’s time to walk out of the darkness and into the light that comes from Christ. The light’s not there to expose you anymore. It’s there to help guide you to true life, just like the nightlight led you safely to your parent’s room when you were scared.

Maybe you have a friend who’s living in darkness. You can share the light with them. Maybe it’s just a loving conversation you need to have.

If you need to do any of that, hang around after we close tonight in prayer. I’ll be around, and we have some loving adults who will talk with you. If you just need to talk about it with one of your friends who’s living in the light, do that, as well! Whatever it is, do it tonight!

Close in Prayer.

Written by Jerred E.


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