Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Light That Has Lighted The World.7

"Are there not at least twelve hours of daylight? If you walk by day you do not stumble, because of the natural light around you. If, however, you walk by night, you will fall, because there is no daylight to guide you. Believe in the light that you may become "children of the light." 

No Daylight to Guide
The riots breaking out across the USA in response to police shootings have this in common: they are being guided by something that looks a lot like darkness!

Walking in the Light
If we could only harness the passion and anger against the "skin" problem and use it against the "sin" problem, as NFL football player and follower of Jesus, Benjamin Watson accurately describes! As for me, I have been initiated into the company of those whose work is to send sin out of the world...beginning with myself. Lord, make me child-like, not childish wanting only for myself or snatching what others have.  Let me in every nuance of gesture, word and deed demonstrate you abiding love for every human being I encounter.

"When we receive the child in the name of Christ, the very childhood that we receive to our arms is humanity. We love its humanity in its childhood, for childhood is the deepest heart of humanity--its divine heart;... If there is in heaven a picture of that wonderful teaching, doubtless we shall see represented in it a dim childhood shining from the faces of all that group of disciples of which the center is the Son of God with a child in his arms. The childhood, dim in the faces of the men, must be shining trustfully clear in the face of the child. But in the face of the Lord himself, the childhood will be triumphant--all his wisdom, all his truth upholding that radiant serenity of faith in his father. Verily, O Lord, this childhood is life. Verily, O Lord, when thy tenderness shall have made the world great, then, children like thee, will all men smile in the face of the great God."
MacDonald, George. Unspoken Sermons Series I., II., and II. 
(Kindle Locations 124-126). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

"While much of America seems to be getting more and more divisive, I'm going to be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, greeting all I meet, exercising patience with others, and smiling at strangers.  I'll do this as often as I have the opportunity.  I will not stand idly by and let children live in a world where unconditional love is invisible and being rude is acceptable.  Join me in showing love and respect to others.
Find your way to swing the pendulum in the direction of love. Because today, sadly, hate is gaining ground. Love must begin somewhere and love will overcome hate. Imagine the difference if we all love a little more." 
--Author anonymous, Posted to Facebook, September 25, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Light That Has Lighted The World.6

The lamp of the body is the eye: if your eye is sound, your whole life will be filled with light, but if your eye be preoccupied with evil, your whole life will be obscured with darkness. 

If what illuminates your life is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! 

A recent episode of a popular network television show opens with the cast dressed in formal attire at a beautifully elaborate gathering.  There is a sense of great anticipation when the camera turns to reveal a very attractive woman dressed in a wedding gown walking down the aisle toward...another attractive woman dressed in a wedding gown!  The two women say their vows to one another, kiss and wave gloriously to the approval of their supportive well-wishers. The celebration continues at the reception where the two "brides" glow in the revelry encouraging their bold entrance into the new world!

In a stroke of artistic brilliance CBS uses a popular tv series with respected characters to intersect the old and new world meaning of the word gay! actually makes a generational distinction of meaning:

  • of, relating to, or exhibiting sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex; homosexual: a gay couple.
  • of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
  • Older Use. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
  • Older Use. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
  • Older Use. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season; the Gay Nineties.
Unbeknownst, most certainly, to the writers of this episode, they would be illustrating exactly what Jesus, Lord of Light, meant when He said: If what illuminates your life
image from
is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! 

Preoccupied with evil, the purveyors of social change are attempting to use noble and time-honored social constructs, like marriage and family, to gain wide spread acceptance of what have been seen, historically, as vile practices. By "illuminating" vileness, casting it in the glow of heartwarming shared experience, they hope to bypass the natural filters protecting the conscience of a nation.  Any protest against the practice is met with accusations of intolerance, discrimination and phobia.

If there is wide-spread social acceptance (even that is debatable) for these things, then surely our "eye" is no longer sound.  Understanding what Jesus meant is, of course, the business of Life. Let us refer once again to the idea of soundness:
  • free from injury, damage, defect, disease, etc.; 
  • in good condition; healthy; robust: a sound heart; a sound mind.
  • financially strong, secure, or reliable: a sound business; sound investments.
  • competent, sensible, or valid: sound judgment.
  • having no defect as to truth, justice, wisdom, or reason: sound advice.
  • of substantial or enduring character: sound moral values.
  • following in a systematic pattern without any apparent defect in logic: sound reasoning.
  • uninterrupted and untroubled; deep: sound sleep.
  • vigorous, thorough, or severe: a sound thrashing.
  • free from moral defect or weakness; upright,honest, or good; honorable; loyal.
  • having no legal defect: a sound title to property.
  • theologically correct or orthodox, as doctrines or a theologian.
The daunting question of our day is: What can the righteous do when the foundations are being destroyed, when there is no soundness in what we can depend on in our social institutions?  Let me suggest these things:
  • Be sound in yourself.  Put into practice the words of Jesus.  Ask yourself each day, "what one thing have I done or not done because Jesus said to do it or not do it?" Let the wisdom of God be evident in your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.
  • Insist on soundness in others.  Don't get caught up in foolish arguments over trivial things. Be active, not in social media sites, but in places like school boards, and other local, county, state and national governance.  Let the wisdom of God be evident in your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.
  • Point others to the light of the Word of God -- Jesus, the perfect revelation of all that is good and true.  Never apologize for or waiver in your commitment to timeless truth. Let the wisdom of God be evident in your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity!
  • Let the wisdom of God be evident in your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.