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A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
In 1963, my grandfather was serving as the Senior Minister of West End United Methodist Church in Nashville. West End is situated right across the street from Vanderbilt University, and has always been a wealthy, predominately white church.
One communion Sunday, a black family happened to be worshipping at West End, and like the rest of the congregation, they came forward to receive the meal. Without a sidelong thought, my grandfather served them the bread and juice just as he did the rest of the congregation.
Now, as you know, the Southern U.S. in 1963 was caught up in the height of the Civil Rights movement. And as soon as church dismissed that day, the Administrative Board went into a meeting. A few hours later, they called my grandfather into the room, and though my grandfather was greatly liked by all the people of West End, they asked for his immediate resignation because he served communion to blacks. My grandfather told the gathered group that if that was really the way they felt, then he was not the right minister for them anyway. In stunned silence, the members of the board said nothing more. They knew my grandfather was the right pastor for West End at that time, and they knew that he was right.
My grandfather stayed at West End for many more years, and in that time, other blacks came to worship there as well. Here is a light that illumined a darkness of our world.
(From a sermon by Clair Sauer, A Signpost and a Dash of Salt, 2/2/2011)
CAPITALISM WITHOUT CHRISTIANITY
Pure Capitalism--that exists without a Christian influence--can become an empty shell. When Christianity is taken out of the picture of Capitalism...greed and selfishness take over.
Capitalism without Christianity can result in all kinds or evils.
You can end up with crooks like Bernie Madoff who steal vast amounts of money from investors, because they believe in Capitalism...but not in Christ.
You end up with large companies who misuse their workers and the environment because money is more important than anything. Capitalism is their god...not Christ.
You can end up with labor unions that care more about money and power than the workers they represent because they often believe in Capitalism rather than Christ.
You end up with workers who care nothing for whether their company they work for. They don’t care if it makes any money, or if it even survives - just so long as they get their large raises and better benefits they feel they deserve. They deserve the advantages of capitalism, but rarely want the restraints of Christ.
And you end up with politicians who see successful businesses, businessmen, and workers as a constant source of bigger and more intrusive taxes which in turn results in fewer jobs for the unemployed, because they feel government has a right to its share of capitalist pie.
You could go on and on and on complaining about the weaknesses of capitalism. But when you get right down to it, Capitalism’s greatest weaknesses are the same things that plague every aspect of our lives: Greed and selfishness. That’s because greed and selfishness are powerful motivators. If there’s money or power to be had someone will find a way to cheat, or steal, or sue to get at it. That’s just the way it is in this world--because this world is filled with Sin.
But God says: I called you to be different. I’ve called you to be salt and light in a world that is often foul tasting and dark. God calls us out of selfishness and greed to be His people, and that means He calls us to live in such a way that these sins don’t control us.
If you look at a sundial on a cloudy day, the pointer doesn’t leave a shadow to indicate the time, it’s quite ineffective in that state. Without the “sealing of the Spirit” we’re just like that sundial, failing to live up to expectation and realizing our potential as the children of God, as salt and light in a corrupt and dark world.
Salt Is Used for healing 2000 years ago there wasn’t a drug store on every corner. If a soldier was hurt in battle, if a farmer was gored by a bull, if a child fell down and scraped his knee there was a common treatment. The wound was bathed in salt and water. And it proved to be an excellent sterilization agent. As a matter of fact it’s still used in many countries today. When I was in Bible College our school nurse had served for forty years as a missio...
SURVIVAL: WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE?
About 20 years ago I went on a training conference when I was working as a Patent Attorney for a Swiss multinational company called Sandoz. And one of the conundrums they set us to test our ingenuity was this:
You are in a plane flying over the desert and as you are sitting near the cockpit you hear the Captain giving his co-ordinates to the tower at 15.00 hours.
Half an hour later, however the plane crashes in an uninhabited part of the desert in which the only vegetation is a few cactus trees.
But before the plane crashes you hear the Captain sending off an SOS message to the tower and you hear them reply – but you can’t make out what they have said.
The plane crashes and no one is hurt but the radio is totally destroyed and it looks as if the plane is going to explode in a few minutes time.
In the plane there are only ten things that you can see that can be taken out of the plane – but you can only take three of them.
What three items would best ensure your survival and why.
You have three minute to get into groups to decide:
The ten items are:
1. A bottle of water
2. A box of salt tablets
3. A parachute
4. A knife
5. A sun hat
6. A lady’s vanity mirror
7. A watch
8. A compass
9. A first aid box
Question: What are those three most important items that you would take from the plane to ensure your survival?
You only have three minutes to decide what to take starting NOW.
Three minutes later. STOP.
What did you decide?
The answer- according to the US Military’s top survival expert was as follows:
3. The third most important item was the knife – because it can be used to cut the cactuses to provide drinking water.
2. The second most important item is the parachute – because once the plane blows up you will have no shelter from the sun.
1. The most important item is the lady’s vanity mirror, because you can use it to reflect the light of the sun and so attract the attention of any plane sent out to look for you.
The Lord has called us to be salt and light. We are to bring every area of our lives into subjection under the lordship of Christ that people can see the difference that Jesus can bring to an individual, a family and to society. We have an incredible opportunity to show the difference that Jesus can make when we bring our marriages under the subjection of Jesus Christ.
Our Hindu neighbor Rina began to ask my wife Lenora about our family. She commented that she saw our marriage as good. She said she believed it was because of Christ and the Bible making a difference in our lives. This is exactly the kind of testimony we are hoping to have as we seek to bring our marriage under the Lordship of Christ.
Do you remember from watching Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong, Can you tell which thing is not like the others by the time I finish my song?” If you are a Christ follower and you are in the company of non Christ Followers you are the thing that is not like the others, or at least you should be.
From Denn Guptill’s Sermon: Salt and Light Are?
DON SUTTON'S MOTIVATION
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton hadn’t won a game in 8 weeks. The press was suggesting that he be dropped from the starting lineup. The future looked bleak, and Sutton felt terrible. Then, before a game, Dodgers manager Walter Alston tapped him on the shoulder. "I’d like to speak with you, Don," he said.
Sutton prepared for the worst. "Don," said Alston, "I know how the past couple of months have been for you. Everyone’s wondering whether we can make it to the playoffs. You know there’s a lot of pressure. I’ve had to make a decision." Sutton had visions of being taken off the mound. Alston continued, "If the Dodgers are going to win this year," he said, looking Sutton in the eye, "they’re going to win with Don Sutton pitching. Come what may, you’re staying in the starting lineup. That’s all I wanted to say."
Sutton’s losing streak lasted 2 more weeks, but because of his manager’s encouragement he felt different. Something in him was turning around. He found himself pitching the best ball of his career. In the National League pennant drive, he won 13 games out of 14.
There are all kinds of theories about how to motivate people. We can do it through guilt, fear or shame. But overall these were not Jesus’ m...
Light serves a purpose as well. And this was a picture that these fisherman would understand. A Light Attracts Peter and Andrew and the boys fished at night because during the day the fish in the Sea of Galilee stay close to the bottom where it’s cooler but during the cool of the night they come close to the surface and the guys would have kept a lit torch aboard their boats to draw the fish even closer. You ever turn your lights off on your porch in the summer time because it attracts moths. 10 Years ago when we first moved into Kingswood our son Stephen had fallen asleep watching TV and had the outside light on and the front room light on and someone who was lost deep in the Bowels of Kingswood came to our door at 2:30 in the morning looking for directions, why? Because they saw our light. When we are the light of the world we will attract people to Jesus, that’s part of what we are supposed to do. Remember what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 4:19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” and Paul writes in Ephesians 5:8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
From Denn Guptill’s Sermon: Salt and Light Are?
I remember when I was fishing with my dad sailing into Yarmouth in the fog, I can’t remember sailing into Yarmouth without fog but that’s a different story. And we’d use our radar as much as we could but we would put a man out on the bow to keep a look out for the light from the buoys. The pre-Christian may be directed toward Christ by the Bible or a T.V. Evangelist or a book but the Gospel has to come to life in the light of a believer.
From Denn Guptill’s Sermon: Salt and Light Are?