Summary: God gives us power to shine for him. We are part of God’s testimony to the world. Love is the light.
Series: Turn on the Light / Sunday, December 30th 2007
Intro: In 1853, Hosea Lewis became the “keeper of the light” on Lime Rock Island at Newport, Rhode Island, Lewis suffered a stroke four years later, at which time his teenage daughter Ida assumed responsibility for the light. Each day included cleaning the reflectors, trimming the wick, and filling the oil reservoir at sunset and midnight, along with providing for her father’s care.
With long and demanding tasks, Ida was unable to continue her schooling, but daily delivered her siblings to class, whatever the weather, by rowing the 500 yards to the mainland. Ida became well-skilled and well-known for handling the heavy craft.
• The teenager gained a measure of fame at age sixteen when she rescued four young men after their boat capsized. She rowed to their aid, hearing their screams as they clung to their overturned craft.
• On March 29, 1869, Ida saved two drowning servicemen from nearby Fort Adams. Public knowledge of Ida’s courage spread as far as Washington, inspiring President Ulysses S. Grant to visit Ida at Newport later that year.
• Ida rescued another two soldiers in 1881, for which she was awarded the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s highest medal.
• In early February of that year the two soldiers were crossing from Newport to Lime Rock Island on foot when the ice gave way. Ida, the lighthouse keeper, came running with a rope. Ignoring peril to herself from weak and rotten ice, she pulled one, then the other to safety.
• All told, Ida Lewis personally saved at least 18 and as many as 25 people in the 39 years of keeping the light.
• Her last reported rescue came at age 63 when she saved a friend who had fallen into the water on her way to visit Ida on the island.
Asked where she found strength and courage for such a feat, Ida answered: ‘I don’t know, I ain’t particularly strong. The Lord Almighty gives it to me when I need it, that’s all.’
The Apostle John was, in a sense, a lighthouse keeper too.
• Jesus had entrusted Him with the Gospel and John remained faithful.
• He was about 90years old and the last Apostle standing / He was passionate about the Truth
We can truthfully say that John is passing the torch to us.
• He instructs us to fill the lamp with oil, to trim the wicks and to polish the glass so that we may shine bright for God.
• He writes to build up the reader with the most important lessons he has learned over the course of his life.
Think of it: The Apostle is writing us a letter that carries 90+ years of wisdom, education and life experience. He actually walked with Jesus. And not only was he one of the 12 original Disciples, he was Jesus’ best friend! SO when the man is “recapping” all he has learned, we should listen intently.
Here in the last installment in this series we will be jumping around in the last chapter of 1 John.
1 John 5:4-5 “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?