Music Discussions

Be a Light

be-a-light

Be a Light – Thomas Rhett

Main Point: When we follow Jesus, we start to think different from the world, and He shows us how to live as light in the darkness.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.
  • Thirty year old Thomas Rhett hails from Valdosta, Georgia and grew up around country singers. Thanks to his father, singer and songwriter Rhett Akins, Thomas got to pal around with Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn as a child.
  • At the age of twenty, Thomas dropped out of college to chase after a career in music. After co-writing a song with Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett signed a recording contract and has been making music ever since.
  • Rhett has released four studio albums with his most recent album Center Point Road dropping in the spring of 2019.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This: As the world battles the global coronavirus pandemic, country star Thomas Rhett aims to bring a little light in the darkness with his new song Be a Light. He performed this song during the ACM Presents: Our Country special in early April 2020. Prior to singing, Rhett spoke to the crowd saying, “It’s weird navigating waters that are uncharted, and I think that’s what these are. So with this song, I really felt it was fitting to play for you guys.” The uplifting song also features Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, and Chris Tomlin. The proceeds from this song will go to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund to aid members of the music industry in need of financial aid due to losing jobs because of the pandemic, and those who have been diagnosed.

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YuWAZmD0aU

Song Lyrics: Be a Light

In a time full of war, be peace
In a time full of doubt, just believe
Yeah, there ain’t that much difference between you and me
In a time full of war, be peace

In a world full of hate, be a light
When you do somebody wrong, make it right
Don’t hide in the dark, you were born to shine
In a world full of hate, be a light
(La-la-la, la, la, la, la)

In a place that needs change, make a difference
In a time full of noise, just listen
‘Cause life is but a breeze, better live it
In a place that needs a change, make a difference

In a world full of hate, be a light
When you do somebody wrong, make it right
Oh, don’t hide in the dark, you were born to shine
In a world full of hate, be a light
(La-la-la, la, la, la, la)
(La-la-la, la, la, la, la)
(La-la-la, la, la, la, la)
(La-la-la, la, la, la, la)

In a race that you can’t win, slow it down
Yeah, you only get one go around
‘Cause the finish line is six feet in the ground
In a race you can’t win, just slow it down

In a world full of hate, be a light (Oh-oh)
When you do somebody wrong, make it right (Make it right)
Don’t hide in the dark (Don’t hide in the dark), you were born to shine
In a world full of hate, be a light

Yeah, it’s hard to live in color
When you just see black and white
In a world full of hate, be a light

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):

Q: What do you think it means to be light in the darkness?
A: Unthreatening question, but gets the ball rolling with what it means to let your deeds shine.

Q: How is it different from others when followers of Jesus let their light shine?
A: Starts a conversation about Matthew 5:16, and what it means to let your light shine in a way that glorifies our Father in heaven.

Q: What would tell people they can do if they wanted to let their light shine right now?
A: Contextualizes it to whatever season you are having this discussion, gets practical.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged – the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our “Parenting Help” page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This: Rhett released this song early because he wanted to encourage people to be light in a dark place, to be an encouragement to people. The song features popular worship leader Chris Tomlin, and has a powerful message for the world, and for the church. Imagine if a follower of Jesus took this to heart during this season and beyond. Let’s take time and talk about what God might do through each person if they would grab hold of the calling to be a light.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY: Have you ever been afraid of the dark? Talk about what that has looked like for you, and how you dealt with it as a child and beyond.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think Rhett means in the opening verse when he says, “there ain’t that much difference between you and me”? Why is he saying that here?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What might it mean to live out the line that says, “In a time full of noise, just listen”? Why do you think Rhett included that line in this song about being light?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Look at the part of the song that says, “In a race that you can’t win, slow it down, Yeah, you only get one go around, ‘Cause the finish line is six feet in the ground, In a race you can’t win, just slow it down.” What do you think Rhett means when he sings this part of the song?
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it means to hide in the dark? What are some ways we tend to do that in our lives?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How do you think people who don’t follow Jesus will interpret this song? Can anyone be light, or does this apply only to those who are believers in Christ?

Read the following passage:

Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read Matthew 5:13-16. What do you think Jesus is wanting to communicate in these verses?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Has anyone ever seen a town on a hill lit up at night? Share what you noticed when you saw it.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it look like for a follower of Jesus to let their light shine? How might that be different from someone who doesn’t follow Jesus?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: According to these verses, what’s the difference between a person who does good things, and the person who follows Jesus who chooses to be light?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it mean for someone to see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways you, as a follower of Jesus, can be light in the darkness in both words and actions?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways people might hide their light when it comes to sharing Jesus with other people? How might we overcome that? (HERE is a great resource from Jonathan McKee about sharing your faith that you might want to lean into.)

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This: This is a powerful song released during a dark season of history. Amid the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the world, Thomas Rhett’s song challenges us to change our perspective, to see things differently. In a sense, he is urging us to live life the opposite way than we might naturally choose to. Jesus takes this a step further in Matthew 5, challenging us to alter our perspective and choose to live as light in the darkness. It’s hard during seasons where we begin to see how much we are not in control, but God can do more through our surrender to Him than through our struggle for control. Let’s take a moment and surrender our hearts to Jesus, asking Him to show us how we can be light in the darkness.

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to mediated and pray silently.) 

How might God be inviting you to think differently about your ability to influence the world with your words and actions? What does it look like for you to live in such a way that people will stop and say, “WOAH, the things they do are so awesome, they must not be doing that on their own?” What are some practical things you can do right now to be light in the darkness, to shine in a way that people see Jesus through you? 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.)

The Church is not a building, but it’s made up of people who follow Jesus – and the Church is an unstoppable force in this world. Jesus has said He will build His church and the gates of hell will not stand against it. Imagine what you might do as part of His Church if you were to grab hold of his invitation to be light in the darkness. Imagine if you served others, loved others, and boldly shared Jesus without fear. Let’s be people who are willing to step out in faith, represent Jesus with passion, and be a light for the world to see, even in the darkest of times.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com

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