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The Story of Light

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“The Story of Light”

2 Corinthians 4:1-7

Definitions for the word light can be divided into 3 main categories:

1.     The form of a radiant energy that stimulates the organs of sight… (ultraviolet and infrared are forms of light that do not stimulate human vision)

a.      Any source of brightness such as a lamp or the sun

2.     Mental or spiritual understanding or insight

3.     A lively or intense expression on the face – especially in the eyes.

4.     The Bible defines God as light and Satan as the prince of darkness.

We use the term ‘light’ to express:

1.     Physical

2.     Intellect

3.     Emotional

4.     Spiritual

All these spheres are interdependent.

We are at the end of February. 

The days have been short. 

The sun has been furthest from the earth. 

The lack of strong physical light brings emotional darkness and we often feel depressed.

When one spend time with God and my relationship with God has been nurtured, the spiritual light in my soul brings light to my being often shown on their face and in a lighter step.

This morning I want to talk about the story of light; an ‘in the beginning’ type of story. 

As I do I want you to recognize this interplay between the physical, emotional and spiritual

Also, find your place in this story of light:

Once upon a time…

Long, long ago…

Actually our story goes back further than long, long ago…

Back to the beginning of time…

Back to a minute before time…

So our story actually starts:  before the beginning of time as we understand time… there was God.

One of the many ways to describe God existing

in reality more real,

more complete

and more full

than anything in our material world…

one description of this ‘before-time’ God is with our word ‘light’.

When God-who-is-light chose to create the universe as we know it, He also created physical light. 

This light gave sight to our eyes so that

·       we could see where we are going

·       we could enjoy the beauty of colour

·       we could discover more and more of what seems to our infinite minds an almost infinite universe.

Ah, there are many, many other properties of light that that not only bring joy to life but also makes all physical life possible.

No wonder the creator-God began His work of creation with the creation of physical light.

This creator-God-who-is-light also chose to create humans – us! – and to breathe into them – us! –  the likeness of God Himself.

This enabled humans – us – to enjoy a wonderful, awe-filled relationship of joy with – our – creator-God.

However, although God gave us the ability to enjoy the

creation with our creator-God,

He also gave us the choice to live in darkness. 

This choice is called rebellion. 

And that’s what the first humans chose to do – and humans still choose to do today.

Did I mention that our creator-God who began our story at the time of physical creation, also created spirit-beings.  These spirit-beings also had choice

and yes, in the spirit-realm called heaven, where our finite minds understand God to live,

there was also a rebellion. 

Some of the angels wanted to take the place of God and there was no room in heaven for such disorder. 

These rebellious angels are called demons

and their leader is known as Satan.

In his rebellion against God, Satan wanted to destroy any beauty of God’s created world

and struck right at the pinnacle, humans. 

Let’s deceive,

let’s blind their eyes

but make them think their blindness is actually light. 

So Satan said to First-woman:

‘When you eat of that God-forbidden fruit you will not die. 

Instead your eyes will be opened and you will know good and evil.’

If only first-woman and first-man had stopped to think.  Their creator-God was the one who created their eyes and given them light –

not only to see the created world

but light for their minds to know

– they already knew good and evil:

that’s obedience. 

To obey their creator-God who gave them all of creation to enjoy – that is good.

To choose to rebel against their God – that is evil.

They already had that knowledge of good and evil.

Satan did not give them new knowledge,

he blinded them to the knowledge they already had. 

He blinded their eyes.

Now, with their focus off God and trying to think for themselves – their thinking is clouded, dark for they separated themselves from their creator-God-who-is-light.

Yes the first humans fell for this deception.

And they hid from God-who-is-light.

This rebellious, fallen state has been passed on to their children and to their children’s children, down through the years, the centuries, the millennium to us today.

Everyone in this room has been affected by that first choice – called sin. 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

But there is another description for this creator-God who existed before our physical time. 

He is light. 

And He is also love.

God loves those He called humans and to whom He gave the capacity to have a joy-filled relationship with Him.

God is love. 

And He loves us.

God loves every person in this room today.

This creator-God who is light and love chose to make it possible for us to choose His light

so that He might bring us back into a joy-filled relationship with Him. 

He created a Plan – a plan that would bring His people back to the Light – the true light; back to Himself!

God has always been involved in His creation,

inviting blinded ones to turn from the darkness back to His light.

And so the struggle between darkness began and has continued down through the ages.

God calling people out of darkness into His light.

Satan deceiving people into thinking their blindness is actually the total reality.

Some have accepted God’s invitation and moved from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

But others choose darkness in order to continue to do their deeds of wickedness.

Throughout history God has revealed himself to mankind. 

·       Speaking to Noah,

·       calling Abraham to follow in faith,

·       creating a ‘Chosen People’ to be a light to all nations.

·       Speaking through the prophets

·       Causing His words to be collected into a written form now called The Bible.

Always inviting people to trust Him – and some did.

But many were deceived and destroyed in their wickedness done under the cloak of darkness.

Finally, in the fullness of time,

God sent His one and only Son whom He loves,

to enter into the physical, created world,

to go to His own whom He created

with the desire of restoring a love-relationship with them.

His Son, who has the complete likeness of the Father,

His Son who reveals the fullness of God to us,

His Son who is Light and Love,

God’s Son came to His own and His own did not receive Him

but to all who received Him,

to those who believed in His name,

He gave the right to become children of God

– children born not of natural descent,

nor of human decision,

nor of a husband’s will,

but born of God.

This new birth, this second birth,

brings the believers back into a joy-filled,

planned purpose-of-God relationship

with their Creator-God who is Spirit.

With the coming of God’s Son into the created world

the conflict between light and dark,

between God and Satan came to a climax.

And darkness tried but could not understand or put out the light of life.

The battle continued to intensify as Satan tried to divert,

to hinder,

to stop Jesus,

the Son of God,

the Light of the World.

The battle built to its crescendo at the cross.

       There Satan tried to snuff out the Light forever.

No wonder that at the moment of Jesus death strange darkness – deeper than any physical darkness came over the earth.

For three hours – at midday, the sun simply refused to shine.

Yet darkness could not overcome the light.

Instead the Light of the World declared victory over darkness.  

The most important physical event in all of history took place only three days later:

– the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

His resurrection invites us all to live within its light.

Let’s look for a moment at one person’s story.

His story highlights this struggle between light and darkness.

Saul of Tarsus who would later describe himself as the chief of all sinners.

Saul was taught in the best of the best of Hebrew schools.  Of all Hebrews he had the most impressive of credentials.

If ever the Jewish nation had someone to point to as an achiever, Saul would have been a one of their finest examples.

Yet Saul changed. 

As he was going towards Damascus

with the intention of imprisoning anyone who advocated faith in Jesus,

Saul had a radical encounter. 

This encounter happened at the height of the noon-day sun. 

A light so much brighter than any physical light struck him blind. 

And out of that light Jesus, the Light of the World, spoke to Saul, changing him into the greatest apostle and missionary of the church.

He described the experience as being rescued from darkness into light.

2 Cor 4:6

“For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

Eph 5:8

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”

This physical, created world is mortal.

It will one day pass away – it’s existence will be no more.

There will be no more sun as we know and experience it.

But for those who have received the life Jesus offers, they will have received a new life that receives its strength not from they physical sun but from God who is light.

We have received eternal life.

       We will participate in Jesus’ resurrection.

              We will see Him face-to-face.

                      We will live with Him in His heavenly home.

Rev 21:23,24

“23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.”

Rev. 22:5

“There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

Now the question:  Where does your story intersect with this story of light?

Holman’s painting shows Christ holding a lamp and standing, knocking at a door.

The door has become overgrown with weeds through disuse.

But its significant feature is the lack of a latch to open the door.

The artist wanted the viewer to realize that this door is to the human heart which can only be opened from the inside.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Re 3:20 NIVUS)

Perhaps this morning you want to open your life to the light of the word – Jesus Christ.

Or perhaps you have already opened the door of your life before.  But today the Light of The World is speaking to you – there is still one area of your life that you are choosing to keep in the dark.

This morning the invitation is for you to allow His light to shine in your life and bring you the joy intended since the creation of the world.

“5 ¶ This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1Jo 1:5-7 NIVUS)

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