Monday, February 23, 2009

The Bethany Bullet-February 23, 2009

Today we take a break from our series on the Lord’s Prayer and focus on our Six Just Words for the month of February. From Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, Shine, your Light has come.”

Six of the most joyful words to me are the following, “Pitchers and catchers report on Friday!” The baseball season is right around the corner and not only players, but fans from across the country will descend on Florida and Arizona to bask in the sunshine, to catch a glimpse of boyhood heroes, and to recharge in the light and hope that come with the beginning of a new baseball season.

Hope springs eternal but there is something about getting out into the light of the sun that just feels good. Just ask a snowbird that flocks to the south during the winter months to spend time in the sunshine or a person who suffers from seasonal affective disorder and they will tell you, light is powerful. Light is necessary. Light cancels out darkness. But we are not drawn to the light; in fact we are drawn to the darkness by sin.

From John the 3rd chapter: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

Where are the dark corners of your life? Where do you retreat when no one is looking? Where can you be found when there is darkness all around?

The devil loves it when we retreat to his territory; when we spend our times in the dark places not wanting the effective, powerful light of Christ to penetrate the deep recesses of our lives. We may want that light to hit us on the surface, but we cower in the corners of the dark to get try to avoid being changed by it.

But the light that has come in the person and work of Jesus Christ is effective, and powerful. It is necessary and he has come to cancel out the darkness that we seem to love.

For sinners the six words that we live by most often is, “Cower, hide, here comes the light.” But the light of Christ has come to bring hope and a future to all who hide in sin. If you are hiding in a dark corner right now know this, the Light that has come has not come to shame you but to make you shine. The light comes to shower you with love not shatter your heart.

But what does that light look like? Today (Sunday, February 22nd) being the Transfiguration of our Lord as well, we get a glimpse of it in our Gospel reading for today:
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.

For a moment, Jesus revealed his divine nature to Peter, James and John. Jesus was changed before them and he became the light of God manifest in human form. It must have been an awesome sight. But the disciples were changed. Peter says, “It is good for us to be here!” Peter was no longer hiding in the darkness. He might have been terrified but he seemed to embrace the light; the light had affected him, its power transformed him.

In our Old Testament reading from this week we have another story of someone being changed by the presence of God on a mountain. In Exodus 34, Moses is on Mt. Sinai meeting with God and when he comes down his face is glowing. Moses had an encounter with God on a mountain and he too was changed, by his time in Yahweh’s presence. His face was glowing and it made the people a bit nervous. Moses was shining in the glory of God. Everyone knew just by looking at him that something was different. His time spent in the presence of the almighty was written on his face.

How is your face? Does it glow with the radiance of God? Have you been changed by the light of Christ?

Our six words for today call us all to bask in the “Son” light. These words call us to bask in the warm presence of God as we immerse ourselves in His word, as we encounter him in bread and wine, his very body and blood. Our six words remind us that we have been raised with Jesus the day he broke the bonds of sin and death. We arise because he has risen. And now we are called to shine.

Here is the application part of the message:
How can our faces be radiant like Moses’? How can we bring the effective, powerful, transforming light of Jesus to others? How do we share with others how good it is to bask in the presence of Jesus?

May I offer this?


Share the name that has been imprinted on your heart through the waters of baptism, confirmed through study of his word, sustained through his life giving meal in all you do and in all you say. It’s part of the Bethany blueprint. It is a hallmark of a growing follower of Jesus Christ. We SHINE when we SHARE HIS IMPRINTED NAME EVERYWHERE. Our faces can glow with the love of Jesus for a hurting world. Here are some of the most joyful words in world, “Arise, Shine, your Light has come!”


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