Sunday, December 7, 2014

An Image To Reflect On

The sanctuary was lively this morning as we assembled for worship, Communion Sunday. "Good morning. Welcome to the second week of Advent," Pastor Brad said. "One of the images of Advent that is frequently associated with Light. What is the significance of Jesus being the light of the world? Christmas is a celebration of salvation, from our sin toward a purpose. I am genuinely grateful for what He has done.  Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world.'"

Paula showed a beautiful quilt that has been donated, and opportunities are being sold to win this beautiful quilt and pillow. Money raised will go to the Building Fund.
Cheryl shared how our church adopts a family each year and this year we now have a family of six to give to.
Walt stated that Tuesday they would welcome volunteers to help hang drywall. There will be a budget meeting on Tuesday a.m. at 4 p.m.  Friday and Saturday will be work days as well.

Darlene ushered us into worship with a beautiful Christmas piece. Kelly then read a passage in preparation for lighting of the Advent candle. "Let God, not the world, be Lord of your minds."  The Borndal family lit this week's candle, after which the Ladies Chorus led us in a few hymns.

After the offering and a time of prayer, the women's chorale sang a special number.

An Image To Reflect On

Pastor Brad began by reading Isaiah 9:1-2.

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

The image of light and darkness is one of the strongest metaphors in the Bible. From the beginning to the end there are more than 200 references to light and darkness. He asked, "How is Jesus the light in your world? What does it mean?"

We see evidences of the darkness of the world nearly everywhere we look, from ISIS to other horrors in the news. Brad noted that we can't be smug about the darkness that is out there because when we're completely honest we know that there is darkness within us as well. We sometimes get used to this, though we shouldn't. God's aim is to overcome all darkness with light.

In John 3:19 Jesus says, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

This darkness within us is called sin.

But there is power in the light. A ship lost on the high seas finds great comfort when the light of the lighthouse reaches it and directs it to a safe harbor. Lost hikers who survive the darkness of night are given renewed hope by the morning light. The light gives them hope of being rescued.

In John 12:46 Jesus states, "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." Jesus did not come into the world to get rich or be a celebrity. He came to bring light.

At Calvary He took the world's darkness upon Himself and in the resurrection overcame it. Jesus proved that he is able to deliver us from the darkness.

Jesus knows us like no other, and loves like no other. "I know all about your darkness and nothing you have done can make Me love you less or more.

You can choose to live in the light. And it is comforting to know that there is a light in the darkness.

* * * *
After the sermon we sang our way through Communion.

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