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Summary: How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb? Jesus tries to explain this to Nicodemus and he couldn’t understand it? Do you?

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Changing Light Bulbs

John 3: 1-17 February 24, 2002

Several weeks ago there was an email going around entitled “How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb,” I thought about that this week as I was preparing the message…

You may have read the email or heard about it, but I want to share some of it with you this morning… So,

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

· Pentecostal: Ten – One to change the bulb & nine to pray against the spirit of darkness

· Presbyterians: None – The lights will go off & on at predestined times

· Roman Catholics: None – Candles only

· Baptists: At least 15 – One to change the bulb and three committees to approve the change & decide who brings the potato salad & fried chicken (I thought that should be the Methodists.)

· Episcopalians: Three – One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was

· Methodists: Undetermined – Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Church wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish

· Lutherans: None – Lutherans don’t believe in change

· Amish: What’s a light bulb

I’m not sure who wrote that and what denomination they might be, if any, but this analogy pretty much sums up the different beliefs of various denominations, doesn’t it?

When I first read this, I enjoyed it until I came to the Methodist part – and at that point, I became a little offended… I asked several of you what you thought about it & you liked how it depicted the Methodist – so I went back & read it again, and after second thought, I have to agree with you – I also like how it depicts the Methodist…

It said, “Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved – you can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb – Church wide lighting service is planned for Sunday, bring the bulb of your choice.” – I interpose that to mean, “No matter who you are or what condition you’re in, you’re welcome to worship with the Methodist – come as you are, we accept you in the love of Christ… That’s not a bad message to preach, is it?

Come as you are! After all, isn’t that the gospel – Isn’t that the message that Jesus Christ preached? Come as you are! I think it is…

The only problem is that so many people don’t understand the message… they don’t understand what it means to “Come as you are…” And because they don’t understand the message, many will miss the message…

In our gospel lesson this morning, we have the story of Nicodemus who comes to Jesus in the dark of night to discuss a few things… (Children, this is the Biblical “Nick at night…”)

We’re not sure why he chose to come at night, we can only speculate – perhaps the night symbolizes the darkness that surrounded Nicodemus’ heart & soul…

The Bible says that Nicodemus was no ordinary citizen… He was a religious Pharisee, a leader of the Jews, a Sanhedrin – A man who committed his life to studying & obeying the law… but somehow in all of his teachings & religion, he had missed the message…

Talk about it...

Revd. Martin Dale

commented on Sep 11, 2008

Great sermoin inspiring and challenging, with useful illustrations Thanks

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