Summary: This sermon explores a bible passage from Lukes Gospel and shows that people everywhere are looking for a light to follow. It challenges the audience on their Christian stand on various issues and gives the reassurance that God’s love and blessing falls on each true believer.

Our subject for today’s sermon is “The Lamp of the Body”

I have a question for you. Is anyone here frightened of the dark? [acknowledge the responders]

Or does anyone have children or grandchildren who are frightened of the dark? My 10 year old daughter insists on going to sleep with the landing light on and her bedroom door open. She says that she can’t get to sleep with the lights off. I guess there are many Children like this.

But you don’t have to be a child to be frightened of the dark. Has anyone ever been pot holing? (cave crawling) Has anyone worked in the mining?

I have a number of friends all in our 20s or 30s and we meet once a fortnight for fellowship. And we do dumb things. Like hang gliding, or rock climbing and we have even done bungee jumping ( though I confess to chickening out of the bungee jump – but only because of the exclusion clause in my life assurance policy)

Last year we went pot holing in the Derbyshire Peak District national park for the first time. We decided to tackle a cave called "Simkins Pot" A simple cave, not much crawling – steady smooth sloping floor with one way in and out. No chance of getting lost just walk down hill for in and up hill for out.

We had all the right equipment – warm clothing a miners helmet with a lamp on the front, big boots.

This bunch of about 20 brave stropping guys had a great time. After about half an hour of walking down the cave we came to a cavern where there were some great fossils and rock formations.

We had a professional guide and we had done all the right things such as informing the farmer who’s land the cave was on that we were down the hole and would be no more than a couple of hours. If we did not return he agreed to send for help as is the custom with these friendly mountain farmers.

Everyone felt great and we were all having an enjoyable time until the guide suggested that we all turn out our lights and put our hands in front of our eyes. It was as black as black can get. Half a mile underground with no light what so ever. Even the stropping lads, normally brave and fearless were unnerved by the sheer darkness – even though it only lasted (say) 20 seconds. We continued deeper until eventually we came to a waterfall and very small tunnel that we could not squeeze through so we turned back and decided to walk out.

Now we had been in the cave rather longer then we had planned and though we were in no danger as we were walking out one man’s battery died and his miners lamp went out. A few minutes later a second lamp failed, then a third and a fourth and so on.

The guide said that he may have forgotten to charge the batteries since the last expedition but he was sure we’d be all right. Anyway he had an oil lamp which would surely last out and all we had to do was hold the side wall and keep walking – we couldn’t get lost.

As we were walking I took off my lamp from the helmet and shone it backwards. The guy in front had a lamp and I just followed him but the three behind me had no lamp between them so I shone their path.

Eventually we came to the entrance to the cave and were stood in the field catching our breath from a steady uphill walk and one of the men came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder. He said “ Thank’s buddy for shining your light for us” and the other two joined him. One said – I’ll not do that again – I was getting worried as we were coming up that tunnel”

You see even these big brave guys were frightened of the dark. BUT they were re-assured when someone shone a light for them to follow. And that light lead them on a safe path.

And that’s like life really. People everywhere are reassured when, in the darkness that they find themselves in, there’s a shining light to follow.

We are going to explore the passage from Lukes Gospel entitled “The lamp of the body” (Luke C11 v33-36 NIV)

Verse 33:- No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand,

The lamp we are referring to here is YOU dear brother and sister. YOU are the lamp - got that? And no one light’s a lamp and hides it under a bowl – or anywhere else for that matter.

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