Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Awareness of God’s presence and love drive away the darkness.

Fourth Sunday of Lent (B)

March 26, 2006


2 Chron 36:14-17a, 19-23

Eph. 2:4-10

John 3:14-21

Living In The Light

The Mystery Of It All

“Yes, God loved the world so much

that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life”.

These few words from today’s Gospel contain so much wisdom and mystery, that many people have said they are the most important words in the entire Bible. Who of us could pretend to understand all the mysteries they contain? No one ever has. No one ever will. We live inside an eternal mystery, and no amount of intelligence will ever grasp the meaning of that mystery.

But, having said that, this mystery touches our lives in deeply practical ways. While not being able to understand the mystery of God and God’s love for us, we need to be able to live within that mystery and ultimately say ‘yes’ to that mystery.

Endless Love

At this very moment, we are surrounded by Love. This Love had no beginning and will have no end. This Love, which we call God, loves us so much that it will never let us go out of existence…never. “We are God’s work of art, created in Jesus Christ to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it." So there it is. We were created by Love, are surrounded by Love, and are called to live the good life. Those who deeply believe this are very blessed. They have started living in eternity even as they walk the face of this earth.

If you’re looking for the secret of life, the secret of happiness, the secret of inner peace, look no further. Jesus has come to assure us of God’s love and to urge us to walk with him in the light of that love. But there is a struggle that we need to keep before our eyes. It is the struggle between light and darkness.

Aware Of The Struggle

It’s important to recognize the fact that we are engaged in this struggle. Otherwise, we can be living in the darkness and just think that things are normal. This is how it is for many people. They have become so accustomed to living in darkness, that they don’t make any effort to seek the light. We read about people who seem to be nothing but evil.

And we often remark to ourselves that this kind of evil person must have been crazy to do the things they did. We ask how any sane person could be so filled with hate and disregard for others. But not every evil person is crazy. Some are just evil. They have allowed themselves to be so caught up with darkness that what used to be unthinkable is now normal for them. This is how far a person can go if he or she never approaches the light.

The Choice Is Ours

You and I are asked to be aware that darkness exists and that we cannot allow it to enter our lives. Even when we are conscious of the struggle, at different times in our lives, the struggle is more obvious. We can feel that there is conflict within us. At those times, we feel pulled towards the darkness. Jesus says that, “though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to light because their deeds were evil”. In other words, we live where we want to live. We can choose to live in darkness or we can choose to live in light.

The Good News is that God loves us with a never-ending love. Out of love, God has sent Jesus to us to be the way back to the Father. The bad news is that we can choose the darkness instead of the light.

Living In Love

We have all experienced wonderful changes in ourselves when we feel loved by another person. The child who is loved by his parents, the man who is loved by a woman, the one who knows he or she will never be abandoned by a faithful friend. Love has a powerful effect in our lives. All real love is a gift from the God who is the Source of all love. We need to return to that Source time and time again. We need to live our lives in the presence of the One who has always cared for us and who will never forget us.

Living in the presence of the Divine Presence is not always easy. It takes work, determination, and perseverance. But above all we need to be constant and faithful in our prayer. Through prayer we return again and again to the God who holds us gently but firmly in the palm of his hand. No one has discovered a substitute for prayer, just as no one has discovered a substitute for being present with someone who loves us.

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