Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Feb. 1, 2015 Sermon

“I Can See Clearly Now”

1 John 1:5 – 7, 2:7 – 1, (Matthew 5:14 – 16)

Ted Jansen  February 1, 2015  Waynedale UMC
 

1.)        Our tool today is light.  We need light for many different reasons when we are building, when working on things.   Light brings clarity to our sight.  We have better vision when we have light.  You can say, “I can see clearly now.”    

            We contrast light with darkness.  When you are in the dark and trying to do something you stumble and can hurt yourself. 

The other night I got up to go to the bathroom and ran into the wall and a picture.  I heard Sue laughing at me as I realized in the darkness it is hard to see.  I had stumbled and ran into a wall.  If I had the light on I would not have walked into the wall.

 

2.)        I want to read some scripture that give us some insight into light, darkness and what we need to know about our relationships with each other. 

            John shared these words in 1 John 1:5 – 7, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lied and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” 

            John goes on in his letter to tell what light and darkness are.  Listen to these words from 1 John 2:9, 10.  “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.    

              

3.)        Here are some words from Jesus about light.  “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.” (Matthew 5:15)

A lamp is not lit so that it can be hidden and put under a bowl, no, it is lit so that it can provide light.  When a lamp is lit it is to be lifted up so it can provide a benefit for many in the household.  To cover it would defeat its purpose.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)

            When we follow Jesus as Lord and Savior His life and light comes inside of us and His life and light shine from us.  Jesus tells us that we will not be in darkness.  His light will shine through us for others to see and experience. 

            The application for our lives is that just as a lighted lamp is lifted up to benefit many others, so too when followers of Jesus Christ shine His light and love many will benefit.  The Lord wants you to shine so that others will be brought into the light. 

 

4.)        Let’s take a look at this lamp and imagine that it could talk and tell us about itself.  What would a lamp tell us about being a vessel that holds the light?  

            It might tell us that in order to be a good lamp you have to be able to direct the electricity via a cord to the light bulb, which is held in place and have some type of switch that a person can turn on. You have to be a vessel for power, hold on to the bulb, and have a switch.

            The benefits of being a lamp are that when you are turned on you get to help others see, to allow people to see the colors around them, you bring a little warmth, and you brighten the world around you.

            A frustration of a lamp might be when it is dark and you hear people in the dark getting hurt, and banging into things all because the switch is not turned on yet.  Or, it is frustrating when the power goes out and you can’t light the way for people.

 

5.)        Let us be as lamps as we shine light in the lives of others.  I invite you to shine in three ways.  Shine in the darkness.  Shine in His Name, Shine in a spirit of love. 

            Shine in the darkness.  Where do you see darkness, where are you troubled by it?  Each of us perceives areas of darkness in different ways.  There are areas in the world that are without light, and love.  I mean this in a literal and mainly figurative way. 

What are the areas of darkness that bother you the most?  It might be TV shows that portray a view of life absent from God and His truth.  It might be business practices that are not pleasing to God.  It might be a gossiping spirit.  It might be sins of attitude or action that bother us.  It is in those areas that you are bothered by the most that you are called to turn on the light. 

There is a phrase that says, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  I have always liked that because no matter how dark it is one candle will scatter the darkness.  Whenever you encounter darkness light a candle.

            Shine in the darkness, in His name.  Jesus tells us that when others see the “light” from our life they will praise our Father in Heaven.  When the Light shines people will see Him.  We must be bold to let others know the name of Jesus.  I am a human and any good that comes out of me is because of Jesus Christ who lives in me, I am a sinner and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  I shine in His name.      

            Shine in the darkness, in His name, in a spirit of love.  It is vital that when we shine the light of Christ we do so with love.  When someone is in the dark and a light suddenly goes on it is a shock to that person.  A person can literally be “blinded” by the light.  When a person’s life that was in darkness is flooded with the light we need to offer the light in love.  We do not judge people but allow the Lord to reveal what they need to do in His time.  Light is shared so that love may be experienced.   

 

6.)        How has the light of Christ shined in a time of darkness?  Can you think of people who love, who serve, who give, who pray for others?  The light shines from them.    

In every tragedy and hurt the light of Christ goes through a disciple to shine love.  That is what we are called to do.  Followers of the Light of the World, Jesus, have given money, time, prayer, food, energy, supplies and love to those who are needy and hurting.  What if the disciples of Jesus did not do a single thing in the face of disaster? What if we decided to not let our light shine?   

Imagine it is Christmas Eve that a person with a candle refuses to pass the light to others.  There would be a strange section of darkness in that lighted sanctuary.  People are singing, “Silent Night,” but there is no light.  The sanctuary remains dark even though people are singing.  Your light, your love, will bring about fellowship and friendship.  God desires you to take your light and use it.    

 

7.)        When we have light, the love of God, it allows us and others to see.  We see the challenges, the needs, the people that are in need of love.  God has given you His light.    

            Have you heard the song, “I can see clearly now.”  I want you to listen and enjoy this song.  Let the words, music and images bring joy to you as we prepare to celebrate Communion.