Summary: This sermon is a podcast on iHeart Radio from my GodNAmerica Ministry. This lesson reflects the power of God's light on the lives and hearts of people. Light IS greater than darkness.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
I mentioned in a podcast that I wanted to share with you why I sign my personal letters and emails with, “Keep The Light Burning!” Today, I want to give you some background and tell you a story that impressed me many years ago. Then I want to make a brief application.
I have a great fascination with the sea. My father was a career enlisted man of twenty-four years in the Navy and so, we generally lived by the ocean while I was growing up. I can stand by the ocean waves and stare out to sea for hours – I know that because I have.
Along with the allure of the sea, I am also captivated by lighthouses. Over the years, lighthouses have stood vigil by the ocean. They bid farewell to departing vessels and greet those who return. Year in and year out they stand watch, giving direction and safety to the ships. In the bygone eras Lighthouse Keepers were indispensable to the safety of seagoing vessels. They and their families were sometimes the only assistance some seamen would have.
In the mid-19th Century, Abbie Burgess did a remarkable feat as the young sixteen year old daughter of Lighthouse Keeper, Samuel Burgess. He was given the position of tending the twin lighthouse towers at the Matinicus Rock Lighthouse, Maine.
In January of 1856, Mrs. Burgess, an invalid, was ill, so Mr. Burgess decided to go to shore for medicine and other needed supplies. In order to go, he had to entrust his oldest daughter with the important role of keeping the lighthouses in his absence. As he pushed away in his rowboat he called to his daughter and said, “Keep the lights burning, Abbie”.
Lighthouse keeping was no easy task on good days. The lights had to be maintained. The wicks had to be trimmed. The lenses had to be kept clean of ocean spray. The keeper had to carry heavy buckets of oil up the stairs to burn in the lights. For Abbie, not only was there work in the lighthouse, but she would have to take care of her family and the animals on their island. But it gets even more difficult.
While her father was away, a storm rushed in from the sea. For about four weeks Abbie’s father was unable to return to the island, the lighthouses, and his family. Supplies on the island ran dangerously low. Abbie’s mother drifted in and out of consciousness as the storm raged. Their living quarters flooded and the family had to seek higher ground and moved into one of the lighthouses.
Yet, all through the storm, day and night, the lighthouses’ beams could be seen. If any ship was caught in the storm, they would be warned of dangerous rocks and reefs. The towers’ patterned flashes would identify their location. For those weeks, Abbie kept the lights burning!
I am impressed with the grit of that sixteen year old girl and her commitment to the task before her. That ultimately leads me to Jesus and the task before Him which He passed to us.
The Bible Contrasts Light and Darkness
A. Light was created in the midst of darkness – Genesis 1:1-5 (ESV)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Tohu (formless) v’vohu (and empty) – nothing was right about it – Yet, the HS hovered over the waters