Summary: A Children's Sunday sermon focusing on the reality of light and the illusion of darkness.
Today you’ve noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about light. It’s because that is the theme for the summer program this year but also because the concept of light is so important to the church. Jesus used it as a metaphor to describe to people who He was and it still works today. Let’s look at our key verse for the day, it’s John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Light, it is such an interesting concept because it means so many things. In science it can’t be classified because it is a wave and a particle. In our language it is more than that and it is more then just the simple definitions provided by Webster. The dictionary defines light as “something that makes vision possible”, or to be more technical, “electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength that travels in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles per second; specifically: such radiation that is visible to the human eye.” Those are technical definitions of light, but the concept of light is so much more than that.
Let’s start by looking at that this morning what is light. For answers we’re going to look at what it means to us in our culture and what it meant in the Bible. When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” What did He mean? We’re going to look at a few of the concepts that He would have been referring to. First light represents truth. Think about it, when we think that there is confusion or a mistruth being told, we say that we are going to bring the truth to light.
Truth is one of the central theme’s of scripture. In John 8:31-32, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Setting you free is what the truth does. In a world with so many questions, and competing answers the only one that counts is the one that is true. People want to know about God, they want to know about meaning and purpose. So many people are willing to share their answer that matters is the one that is the truth anything else just leaves people looking for what the answers are all over again. We all need the truth. But there is on inconvenient thing about the truth and it has nothing to do with Al Gore, truth that doesn’t exclude is just an opinion. Either God is God or He isn’t. There is no room in the area of truth of God and Allah, God and Buddha, God and anything else. Either Jesus is the Messiah and the one who can save us or He isn’t. But when Jesus stepped out of the grave it proved every word that He said and in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Jesus is the light and life is truth. Light also represents knowledge. 1 Kings 4:29 says, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.” That verse talks about wisdom directly from God. But knowledge is valued throughout the scriptures. Acts 7:22 tells us the Moses was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abendnego we in the court of Nebuchadnezzar so that they could learn the knowledge of the Babylonians. Paul was educated at the feet of Gamaliel, who was one of the most respected teachers of His day. This list can go on for a while, but here is the point. Many of the leading men of God in the Bible were also men of great learning. The God of the Bible values knowledge and wisdom.
It’s funny because there are people today who say that the church of God has not followed suit in this. They say that the church is close minded or they point to isolated incidents in the past. But they are the ones who are acting willfully ignorant of the past of not just the church but the people of God. Think about it, today in the church we spend a lot of time trying to get people to study their Bible. But if you go back multiple centuries you know what part of that is taken for granted? The reading part. That’s right centuries ago when reading was something for only a few it was the church that helped to keep it alive, it was the church who trained people in reading and writing. In fact the term clergy is related to the term clerk which referred to someone who could read.