Sunday, November 28, 2010
Light Of Christ preached @ Tinney Chapel
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Light Of Christ Preached @ Tinney Chapel UMC Today
It was a day when our congregation heard Lay Leader Ronny Ellison share another of his stories about Native Americans as part of our observance of Native American awareness month (November).
Today, he told us about Squanto, the Native American who shared his knowledge of fertility and Indian farming methods with British Pilgrims at an early Thanksgiving event, possibly saving the Pilgrims from starvation. For more on Squanto, consult the book, Harvest, published in the 1960s and edited by Wheeler McMillen. It's probably the best historical anthology of American agriculture. In it, McMillen refers to Native American Squanto as America's "first county agent."
It was also the First Week of Advent at Tinney Chapel, and the Deiterings (Alice and Bob) lighted the Candle of Love, shared thoughts about its meaning and ended with prayer.
Today's Gospel Scripture, Matthew 24:36-44, was read by Lay Speaker Roger Schneider, and the sermon for children was done by Georgia Goggans, who dwelled on the Scriptural injunction to be constantly on watch because the Gospel of Matthew says we don't know when the Lord will come. However, Georgia said that she preferred Luke's version of the same point in which he advised that we always be "dressed and ready," because we don't know when to expect His coming. Her analogy was to always be dressed and ready so we aren't late for the party.
Pastor Sue Gross' sermon was additionally based on the Old Testament Scripture of Isaiah 2:1-5, especially: O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord, after which she talked about the various lights that fill our lives: Christmas lights, street lights, auto lights, star light. In fact, she noted: It's hard for us to be without light. We rarely experience total darkness in the modern urban world.
Pastor Sue referred to the Apostle Paul's reference, in Romans, to our Armor Of Light by which we are to live in the Light of a New Day. After all, she said: Christ's Light reveals everything--just like the newly enhanced airport screenings and full body pat-downs. Jesus does the same with our souls: scanning them for opportunities of forgiveness and salvation.
On the other hand, the shepherds at Christ's birth had no light other than their campfires, and people then did not travel at night because the darkness made it so unsafe.
For us today, Christ is the difference between the darkness of evil and Christ's Light: Remember that the Creator God's first command was to let there be Light. Think of it: God has the Power to Light an entire Universe.
In our own individual corners of the vast Universe, the human heart, God needs us to open our hearts to His Light. It's perhaps the one thing He can't do without help from us, His children. Yet, sometimes we tend to work in the shadows, being neither hot nor cold. It's sometimes as if we have just enough faith to make ourselves miserable, knowing that God sees all our misdeeds, sins and weaknesses, so we hold back, even on the One who knows us better than we know ourselves.
Remember that Light is essential for Healing and Growth. We must learn to accept ourselves as God accepts us, and allow Him to deliver us from darkness into His Light.