LENT 4 2020
Sing MP 263 I am weak but thou art strong
In the very first chapter of the Bible Genesis 1 We hear God’s word of Creation v1-5.
At the other end of Scripture, we hear the final words of Salvation from the One who calls himself the bright Morning Star. Rev 22:16
And midway through, Paul has this to say as he writes to the new converts at Corinth, for God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of Christ’s glory displayed in the face of Christ Jesus.
So, we find that all the way through the Bible God’s glorious presence enables those who inhabit his good creation to live generously and justly, to walk forward without stumbling, and to see what is really happening before their eyes.
The world of the Psalms is one that is regularly illuminated by in=mages of God’s light.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation”
“The light of God’s face shines upon his people”
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet”
In Scripture, the presence of God is also understood to be a source of light akin to the sun at dawn, invoking a blessing. In the book of Numbers we read of how the sons of Aaron are instructed by the temple priests in the proper way to bless their fellow Israelites.
“ The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace”
The Aaronic blessing is still sung today, at baptisms, here at Braehead House after healing prayer, and I even heard it sung last year at a funeral service as the departed was committed into the hands of God.
We could spend weeks and weeks just studying the images of the images of light in terms of the character of God especially in the OT, but time prevents this...........
MP 399 lead kindly light
And so as we do each week, we move from the Old to the New Testament.
To the Gospel of John
Here Jesus proclaims, “ I am the light of the World”
It begins in Chapter 1:1-14, here are echoes of Genesis 1.
In Chapter 8, we find John bringing the imagery of light together with the tradition of the sacred name of God.
When Jesus identifies himself in the words, “ I am the light of the world” he is teaching that his identity in one with that of the God who creates himself. Isaiah 45:5-7.
It is because the light of the world shines in the face of Jesus, the radiant face of God himself, that those who follow him need fear no darkness.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
From Genesis to Revelation, the light shines.
MP 445 Shine Jesus Shine