The light of the world…

I just read a Halloween themed advert for Sky TV which says, “Are you afraid of the dark?”

My answer to that would be no, but I would be afraid if there was an absence of light! Where there is light, darkness cannot co-exist! Light always overcomes darkness, since darkness is not a thing in itself but an absence of something else.

Having said that, I have a sense that “Darkness” (should I capitalise it?!) is currently doing its best to push light out of our lives and society! It will never win! Even the teeniest flame from a lit match can be seen for a very long way in a completely darkened setting.

John 8:12 ESV
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Jesus says both he AND his followers are the light of the world. Our job is to shine until he returns, to hold the darkness at bay, to OCCUPY! He is coming soon and, after the Church is removed from the earth, a darkness, as never before experienced, will take hold.

If you do not know Jesus, please come to him before it’s too late and all that is left is the darkness. Come as you are, he has already paid your debt. But hurry!

Wasn’t it great!

Now the evenings are drawing in and autumn is well and truly here, I thought I’d share this with you. You probably have to be British and over a “certain age” to appreciate it, but I hope it will stir memories for some!

 

One coal fire to heat the whole house. Freezing bed, hot water bottle, sheets, blankets, eiderdown, icy cold bathroom, curtains frozen to the window in winter.

Pre-decimalisation, silver sixpence, threepenny bit, red telephone box, push Button B! Kicking through Autumn leaves, conkers on string,
Smokey chimneys, home, light and third. Wonderloaf blue, Sunblest red… and a small, uncut Hovis!

Brown and white eggs – where did the white eggs go? Silver top milk in bottles, no plastic cartons. Black bakelite phones, party lines, GPO. No mobiles, satellite, digital anythings.

Black and white TV, washer with mangle. Butter, lard and dripping, Sunday roast, home cooking. No freezer, tumble drier, dishwasher, microwave.

Proper seasons, dark very late in Summer, rag and bone man with horse and cart – any old iron?
Metal dustbins, fish and chips in newspaper, shrimps and winkles, jellied eels from the cart.

No seat belts – no car! Motorbike and sidecar, helmet and goggles.
No “potato snacks” – just crisps. No GM, no cloning.

The Britain of my childhood – through rose coloured spectacles.
Wasn’t it great!

The Bystander

I couldn’t see the reason why
He meekly waited there to die.
It seemed a waste of life to me.
“Deny it all! You’ll be set free!”

His life he was about to lose,
For claiming Kingship of the Jews.
But still he wore the thorny crown
As tears of sorrow trickled down.

I knew he shouldn’t be up there,
But all that I could do was stare.
I stood there rooted to the ground
While others gathered closer round.

And so he hung there on the cross,
His mother weeping for her loss,
Until the sky grew black with clouds
And tension rippled through the crowds.

Then suddenly it turned to night –
Three hours without any light.
As Jesus cried out from the heart
The temple curtain ripped apart!

And when I saw that it was finished
The scene before me just diminished
As deep in thought, my heart afire,
I realised he was Messiah.

The Seeds of Love

The seeds of love blow everywhere;
We know not where they land,
But rest assured that when they do
They’re nurtured by God’s hand.

They may be small, but don’t be fooled
As looks can be deceiving.
A kind word or a helping hand
Will bless the one receiving!

Reflection… Peace : The Holy Spirit

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

The Hebrew word “Shalom” conveys the greater meaning of God’s peace: completeness, wholeness, health, peace, safety, soundness, welfare, tranquillity, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the related word Shulam means to be fully paid.

Although we are physically separated from our Heavenly Father right now, we have unity with Him through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit; the “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance”. Because He lives in us, we can cry “Abba! Father!” knowing we are forgiven, redeemed and accepted by the blood of Jesus. The peace of God is lived out in our lives, producing the visible fruit of the Spirit and this is how we become salt and light to the world.

Spend some time giving thanks and worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth, knowing that His shalom is available in every area of our lives – health, wholeness, provision, protection, rest; and makes us complete in Him. Receive it because Jesus fully paid for it at the cross!

 

Reflection… Grace : Jesus, the Son

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have
seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from
the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The meaning of grace (χάρις/charis in the original Greek) is more than just the “graciousness of God” – it is the active application of the wholly undeserved favour of God; His absolute loving kindness, made visible to man in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not “gracious” but FULL of grace, the very presence of God living in the midst of humankind. Grace IS the person of Jesus – the human representation of God’s goodness and perfection! Scripture says the Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Col 1:15) Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn 14:9) To know Jesus personally is to experience the fullness of God’s grace.

Spend some time thanking Jesus that He is the very representation of God the Father to us and, through Him, the relationship with our Heavenly Father is restored. Jesus’ work is finished and we are forgiven and made righteous by His blood. In His broken body He has redeemed us from the curse and purchased our healing. Cast all your cares, your fears, your impossible problems onto Him, because He is the God of the impossible, the “Saviour of the world”. To depend on Jesus is to give Him His rightful place as Lord, and the glory and honour He deserves.