“I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Let us begin with a prayer. Heavenly Father, this is a very important day, yet, help us all to realize - just as important are the days ahead. Father, we pray that Harley would remain in your Word, because we cannot by our own reason or strength come to Jesus Christ, or believe in Him, but the Holy Ghost has called us by the Gospel.
Father, continue to keep her in the true saving faith in Jesus Christ, by your Word, by your Sacraments, by your Holy Spirit, who works in us through the Word. And let not any sin have dominion over her. But continue to deliver her from temptation. Continue to remind her of her Baptism. And may she partake often of the true body and blood of Christ, given and shed for the remission of all our sins.
Father we ask that you also would continue to be with her family, strengthen them, and keep them also, by your Word, and Sacraments – that they may continue to be there for her spiritually. We pray this in the name of Christ. Amen.
Grace, mercy, peace be unto you….(John 8:12)….
Most of us were probably afraid of the dark at one point or another. But it wasn’t really the darkness in and of itself, so much, as it is was, the fear of the unknown. What’s out there, waiting to get me? I don’t know, I can’t see. Too dark. Having at least a little bit of light, at least took the edge off.
But why did that fear wear off, as we grew older? Because our knowledge grew, our understanding grew, our confidence grew – we came to know and believe that we were safe under the protection of our parents, whether it was light or dark. (It especially helps to know that the God who created us, and cares about us, promises to never leave us, whether it’s light or dark).
Knowing is half the battle. In almost every culture, light represents knowledge - darkness represents a lack thereof. If we’re in the dark, we’re uninformed, unaware.
But in the Scriptures it’s even much deeper than that. Light represents the saving knowledge of God, and faith in God. When God gave Paul his sight back, He also gave him saving faith in Jesus Christ. Whereas darkness represents the absence of the saving knowledge of God, the absence of faith in God.
The absolute number one thing then – is to have the light of Christ in our heart. To know Him, is to know God, and to know Christ, is to be right with God. Because Christ came to overcome the darkness of sin and death, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus is the light of the world. Harley, He is without any doubt, your light, your salvation, your assurance, you never have to doubt, you never have to worrry, whether or not heaven, eternal life, is meant for you. Jesus is come as your light, to guide you there, to be your Savior both now, and forever. His promise is to remain with you, to never leave you, as you remain in His Word. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God, and so it is of the utmost importance, that you continue in the light of His Word.
I think all of us here today would have to admit, that when we were young, our number one focus wasn’t the after-life, or being ready for it. I don’t think we could say our #1 focus was God’s Word. It’s not that we were against it either. But it’s that there were so many other things that grabbed our attention. Life is full of things that we think are so important, like having friends, having fun, being able to spend money on our friends to have a good time. And those things have their place in life. Wise Solomon says there is a time for everything. Yet, as you remain in God’s Word, Harely, it becomes clearer and clearer, none of those earthly things can save your eternal soul. And what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
The Promise of Christ is that He is your light, and He has the power to keep you out of the darkness of unbelief, as you remain in the Light of His Word.
Unfortunately, many don’t really see it this way at all. Many look at this as a cutsy message, a feel-good message, and nothing more. As if it’s purpose is simply to give us some kind of warm fuzzy feeling inside and nothing more. Or, all we need is to do is look at a pretty light, and feel good. Jesus is the light of the world. All we need is to recite those words, and everything will be ok. Later we’ll all sing kumbaya together, and we can just go on in our sin!, and everyone will go to heaven anyway.
Jesus did say, I don’t condemn you, but didn’t He also say, go and sin no more? It is 100% impossible for us to do that, without the light of Christ, without His Word. Yet, with Him, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
Harely you’ve come to know the true God, the true light of the world - Who gave His life for you, to take your sin away, not so that we can get comfortable with sin, and throw up our hands, and say, “oh well.” That’s the darkness. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Who really cares anyway? God cared. He cared enough to give you the life of His only-begotten Son.
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.”
When Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, that’s when the war between light and dark, life and death, really began. Only 8 days old, Jesus already shed His blood for us as He was circumcised under the law for us. Later He resisted the darkness of the devil in the wilderness for us by using the light of God’s Word. And finally, on the cross, “there was a darkness over all the earth” as He battled the darkness of our sin, and then proclaimed, “It is finished.” His resurrection proves that the Father accepted His sacrifice for our sin.
That is your light, Harley, He gave His life, that we might live. And that we might live for Him, and not for ourselves.
May God continue to be with you. He promises that He will always be with you, as you remain in the light of God’s Word. May He continue to bless you and your family, by His Word and Spirit.
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Amen.