Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 5th January 2020
It is not often I feel a real challenge from God in a church service. Today was one of them. The challenge came whilst the Bible was being read. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness are the words that struck me. These words, from John 8:12, come from the passage where Jesus said, I am the Light of the World, which was the theme of today’s worship.
The day started off normally for one when I am playing in the worship band. Startled into wakefulness by a radio alarm, I made two cups of coffee for my wife and me and returned with these to bed for a dring and cuddle before getting up for real. A quick breakfast of cereal and milk and I was on my way to church. I arrived about half way through the early service, too late for the sermon, but in time to be able to relax and focus on God before I started on setting up and sound checking and those other things which distract. The words at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever, really helped me to focus.
The 10:45 service itself, the first of the new year, said a lot about what we are planning to do in 2020. People were particularly pointed to an Alpha course being run by Huddersfield churches with meals in several places in the town over the next week or so for those interested. The Engine room, our church’s prayer meeting will be in 10 days time and the Church weekend in May is still open for booking.
The challenge, they shall not walk on darkness, came to my attention, because I have spoken a lot about how in the period of depression following an accident I had to refind Jesus in the dark part of my life, and although the darkness has never fully lifted I am walking with Jesus in the darkness. They shall not walk on darkness came as a challenge to walk with Jesus into the light.
The sermon strengthened this, “Jesus comes to dispel the darkness in our lives.” said John the preacher, but that was well into the sermon. Back to the beginning.
Names have meaning, said John. John means God is Gracious. We were left to decide for ourselves if that meaning was apt. Names have meanings. “I am” is a name with a specific meaning. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and Moses’ reaction was to say send someone else. Then he asked God who shall I say sent me? God said say I am has sent me. I am is God’s special name.
In the rest of John 8 they accused Jesus of being possessed and mention Abrahamas their trump card. Jesus replied, “Before Abrahan was, I am.” All the claims Jesus made are attributes of God.
Jesus claims I am the light of the world. Jerusalem was lit at that time for a feast by four candelabra. Jesus said, ” I am a greater light.” Jesus offers light on the path all the way.
People may have been aware of the darkness in their lives They need to confess it. To invite Jesus into dark places.
There is a Darkness of lonliness. People can struggle with themselves. Jesus comes to dispel the darkness in our lives. We can stay in darkness or invite the light of the world into our lives. The Holman Hunt painting light of the World which portrays Jesus with a lamp outside a door was found to have an inscription in the part of the painting that is normally covered by the frame in the artists own handwriting. “Forgive me, Lord, for taking so long to open the door,” it says. You don’t need to carry that darkness into 2020.
Ask God to reveal dark places in your life
Invite Jesus, the Light of the Word into your dark places.