Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lean Into the Light! - a sunday sermon slice from 1/5/2013

LEAN INTO THE LIGHT!   John 1: 1-5, 14-18

The year of our Lord, 2014 has dawned and the scramble has begun.  Folks are scrambling to get their goals in place, their resolutions together, their peace restored or established for that matter, and their last year’s journeys pushed into the background.

In one of Holy Scripture’s mightiest Psalm, Psalm 119 the Psalmist joyfully declares this great truth speaking of the Lord beginning in verse 129 (ESV)

“Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”

Where is the light of Jesus Christ already shining in your life?  Where are all your dark, dank and dusty corners?   Are you ready to re-open your heart and let that Jesus light shine in again or for the very first time? 

A timeless story is told of an Englishman who transcended his childhood spent as a street urchin, an urchin is an old 14th century word used to refer to a child who is poor and dirty causes trouble out on the street and who tends to annoy people; if you guessed we don’t use this term much in America, you’re right!  This child of whom I speak grew up in London.  He grew up, and against all odds became a reasonable successful writer with a nice home and a loving family.  

But, being a writer every now and then he ran into what’s known as “writer’s block.”  For some time he was unable to feel inspire to write.  It seemed as though the creativity that had once sustained him had suddenly turned off.  His debts were mounting and he was under pressure from his publisher.  He was becoming more and more depressed as he thought that if he couldn’t break his case of writer’s block his children would wind up on the streets.  He was discouraged.  He was depressed. He couldn’t sleep.  He began to spend his nights walking the streets of London.   

He saw the poverty, the inhumane conditions of the children working nights in the factories, the terrible struggle of parents trying to eke out a living for their families.  Gradually, the full reality of what he was seeing began to sink in – the impact of the greed and those who would take advantage of others.  An idea touched his heart and began to grow in his mind.  There was something he could do to make a difference!  He returned to his writing with new energy and enthusiasm he had never known.   

The vision of contributing impassioned him.  He no longer felt doubt or discouragement.  He didn’t worry about his own financial concerns.  He wanted to get this story out, to make it as inexpensive as possible, and to make it available to as many people as possible.  His whole life had changed.  It was as though he had really SEEN THE LIGHT!!!!!  And, as a result the whole world changed!  Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, A Christmas Carol has brightened the lives of millions of people around the world for 150 years!  (I am grateful to Stephen Covey for the retelling of this story of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in his book, First Things First.)

Out text from John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is the light of all people and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overtake it! LEAN INTO THE LIGHT OF JESUS AND YOU CAN RELY ON HIM  TO SHOW YOU YOUR DIVINE DESTINY IN THIS NEW YEAR!