Summary: The message a dark and chaotic world needs to hear and see is that God has sent light to show us the way out of darkness into light and life.
Title: The Need for Light Then… and Now
Text: Genesis 1:1-5
Thesis: God said it and says it still, “Let there be light!”
The message the dark and chaotic world needs to hear and see is that God has sent light to show us the way out of darkness into light.
Most thought it ironic that Australian Steve Irwin, who was famous for his daring exploits in handling dangerous creatures like crocodiles and snakes, would die from a freakish accident in which a stingray stung him in the heart.
Famous last words are often thought to be ironic as in the case of Union Civil War General, John Sedgwick, who while looking across a field at a row of Confederate snipers said, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
Famous last words may be recalled as reckless assertions but they may also be recalled as someone’s dying words. In her eulogy of Steve Jobs, his sister, Mona Simpson wrote of the hours before he slipped into unconsciousness and then she wrote, “Before embarking, he looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then his partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. His last words were: ‘OH WOW. OH WOW.’” (Steve Jobs’s last words: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow.’, Harley Tsukayama, The Washington Post with Bloomberg Business, October 3,2011)
The famous German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who authored the greatest long poem of modern German literature, Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s last words were, “Mehr Licht!”
Interestingly Goethe’s last words were God’s first words.
Transition: The first words God spoke in Scripture are famous first words…
I. The Light of Creation
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:1-5
The first word God spoke into his creation was light. We could paraphrase the bible and say, God said, “mehr licht!”
In the beginning the implications are that whatever was existed as primodorial chaos. The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.
The first scene is what we might imagine as post apocalyptic. Everything has been reduced to chaotic ruin. Destruction is everywhere. There is not light. It is murky. Vapors are rising as from a murky swamp. There is a deathly silence about the place. It is lifeless. Barren. Dark.
Illustration: I have a good dentist and dental insurance that allows for two cleanings, x-rays and examinations. I needed a crown last year so I went in on the appointed day. The assistant asked me if I would like a movie or something to watch while the dentist worked. The monitor was mounted high and I would be wearing a headset so as to be totally distracted while the dentist did his work.
So with Office reruns on the monitor and headset in place I leaned back to watch… and then the dentist came in, pulled a stool up beside my chair, reached up and pulled a giant light down from an extended arm, directed it into my mouth and went to work. In addition to the big light he had a smaller laser-like light on his glassed. Apparently good lighting is requisite for the creating of a new crown.
I would never say that not even God can work in the dark but the first thing he created was light. He said, “Let there be light and there was light.”
Illustration: The earth was a dark place and the earth is a dark place when and wherever there is no light. Last November the Huffington Post reported that the city of Highland Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, had removed 1,000 of it 1,500 street lights to reduce the $60,000 monthly electric bill. Highland Park, Michigan is a dark place these days and they are discovering what every other city has discovered. Whenever you dim the lights there is a corresponding uptick in crime. (Alexander Eicher, Highland Park, MI Tearing Out Its Street Lights, Huffington Post, November 7, 2011)
Dark places are chaotic and unruly places in desperate need of good lighting. And that is what God initially brought to creation. “Mehr lichte!”
Despite the fact that God transformed and divided the darkness into the light of day and the dark of night. And despite the presence of day light, the sun, moon and stars, people still lived in a darkness of another sort.
Transition: The bible says that God sent Jesus Christ to be the light of all mankind.
II. The Light of Christ.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-9