Summary: We must continually draw close to the Lord of Light because He is the one who produces fruit in our life.
Who’s afraid of the dark? Who’s ever been afraid of the dark? I was. Yep, that’s right. I had a nightlight too. Anybody have a nightlight? I had one of those really cool care bear ones. Wish Bear to be exact. Did you ever stop and think why people have nightlights? I mean, what’s so special about a nightlight? For example: Imagine with me a worst case scenario. Let’s say that you’re sleeping in your room and all of a sudden Osama Bin Laden and his cronies walk into your room, or Frankenstein, or the Boogey Man (oh how I was terrified of the Boogey Man), what is your nightlight going to do for you? It’s not like you are going to wake up and say to yourself, “Oh, well at least I have a nightlight. I guess I’ll go back to sleep now. Goodnight.” No! A nightlight is not going to help you at all. A nightlight can’t keep you safe, but only provide to you the illusion that you are safe. But what is it about a nightlight that does that? I think it is because God has so deeply planted within us that the “light is good” and “darkness is bad.”
1) GOD HAS CALLED US TO BE CHILDREN OF LIGHT
Let’s read our Scripture passage for today. It is from Ephesians 5:8-10. It reads:
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
God had called us to live as Children of the Light. How exciting! I’m excited about it. I think sometimes we just shrug our shoulders to familiar terms. But, at least we weren’t called to live as children of the darkness. There isn’t a whole lot about darkness that says “fun.” It’s damp, scary, and just not fun. On Friday night, I had a weird dream, and for some reason it goes perfect with this sermon, so let me tell you about it. I had a dream that I was rowing across the ocean with some other people (who I never found out who they were. Funny how people are just blurs in dreams) and we eventually came to a deserted island. When we got to the middle of the island there was a large building, but for some reason we had to go into the basement and walk across it. The basement consisted of many rooms, and each room in and of itself was dark. I was chosen to lead the way and search through the rooms to find the light switch for each room. By the way, when I’m in the dark, I hate being in front. It’s never good to be in front or the back. The middle is awesome. Anyway, we continued to tiptoe our way through each room as we were terrified of what we might encounter. Finally, we got to the last room, and I could dimly see a stairway that led to the light above. When I had approached the stairway, I reached my hand up to feel where it was, and just as I put my hand up towards the stairway… “AHHH! Someone grabbed my arm!” I wanted to scream, but sometimes when you’re dreaming, you can’t get anything out. Finally, I was able to yell, “HELP,” and I woke myself up. However, just before I woke up, I realized that it was my father who was grabbing my hand and pulling me up out of the darkness. After I had walked through the darkness trying to find my way, my father grabbed my hand and was pulling me up into the light—just as God has pulled up us out of the darkness and into the light. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what it is.
But, it made me think. I hate the dark. I hate stumbling around, and getting hurt, and being scared to death, and I hate living life like that. The light is so good. Let’s live as children of the light! But before we attempt to do so, let me make a very important distinction. Notice that we are children of the light. Not “Light Children.” God is the light. Not us. Also, God calls us light in the Lord. Once again, it is God that is the light. There is nothing special about you and I. God is the one that allows us to be light and live in the light. In order to live in the light, we need God.
2) IN ORDER TO LIVE IN THE LIGHT, WE MUST BE CLOSE TO THE SOURCE
Imagine with me for a second that you are in a large empty room, and the only things that are in the room besides you are two tables. On one side of the room is a table full of the most wonderful foods you could ever imagine. I’m talking about steak, lasagna, the Thanksgiving Turkey that you had that one year and have never forgotten, the Christmas ham, pineapples from Hawaii, and oranges from Florida. The best of the best. However, on the other side of the room is another table. On this table are the most despicable and harmful things you could ever imagine. They are things you could eat or drink, but things you probably shouldn’t be eating or drinking. I’m talking about rat poison, drano served in coffee cups, meat with e coli, and even a roasted chicken infected with the avian bird flu virus. So, you are sitting in this room, trying to decide what to do when in walks you know who…Jesus. As Jesus walks in the room, not only does a mysterious choir of angels start singing but the whole room lights up in an instant. Now you can see the two tables and it’s obvious to you what you should eat and why.