Monday, July 10, 2017

Sermon: Monday of Trinity 4 – 2017

10 July 2017

Text: John 1:9-18

In the name of + Jesus.  Amen.

Dear brothers and sisters, it goes without saying that we live in dark times.  The light of our culture here in America is indeed a dimly burning wick, and around the world, the lamp of those who hold to goodness, truth, and beauty grows ever dimmer.  The holy Christian church on earth is surrounded by deep shadows of hatred and restlessness and resentment.

That which is good is called evil.  That which is evil is called good.  And any attempt to shine the light of the Gospel upon the darkness of this world is met by resistance, and in some cases, violence.

“In the beginning,” before there was light, there was the Word.  He was “with God, and the Word was God.”  And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”  And in Him, the Word, “by whom all things were made,” there “was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

“Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.”

This struggle between light and darkness is more than just the cyclical rotation of the earth that brings us night and day.  Nor is it a struggle between two equals.  This contest that pits the chaos of darkness over and against the goodly order of light is the history of the universe.  It is the story of man.  And it is the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over evil.  

For even in our fallen state of sin and of our dark night that seems to have no end, there is good news: “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.”  And this world, dear friends, was so smothered by the darkness, that “it knew Him not.”  His own people, darkened by sin and the specter of death, “did not receive Him.”  And yet, in spite of the rejection of the light by a people who “dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,” some did reach out in faith through the murky shade toward this Light, and to those who received Him, who “believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God.  

And when light chases away the darkness, we see ourselves as we are: broken, sinful, in a state of decay, of ourselves with nothing to look forward to but the eternal darkness of death and hell.  Perhaps this is why our base instinct is to reject the Light and those who bear witness about the Light.

But something else happens, dear friends.  This illumination has not come only to expose our blemishes, and certainly not to use them to condemn us, but quite the opposite.  For “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  And in the midst of this blazing Light, this eternal Light, this uncreated Light who created light, “from His fullness we have received grace upon grace.”

We are truly enlightened.  The darkness that clung to our souls to drag us down to the grave and to hell itself, has vanished, being vanquished by one single Light: for “Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.”

We are transformed into being creatures of light ourselves, reflections of the Light who is Christ.  And our blessed Lord sends us into the darkness where He sees fit, to obliterate the darkness, bringing the light of Christ to those whom we find in this dark and dreary world.

His glory is His cross, and His cross illumines men’s souls and ignites them with forgiveness, life and salvation.

Yes indeed, we live in dark times.  We are surrounded by darkness.  But this just means that the darkness has nowhere to escape!  

For “Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.  Stay with us Lord, for it is evening, and the day is almost over.  Let Your light scatter the darkness and illumine Your Church,” O “joyous Light of glory.” Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

No comments: