Summary: A sermon on the importance of studying God’s Word.
“Turn On The Light”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Imagine that you are in the woods late at night, and the darkness is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Perhaps you have gone camping with some friends and on your way back from the bathroom you wandered off the path…and it’s so dark you can’t see a thing.
You try to take a few steps forward, but in this darkness it is hard to tell the difference between forward and backward.
Then you stub your toe on something…it causes you to trip…and it’s a bit painful.
It must have been a rock sticking up from the earth, but of course you couldn’t see it…
…so you couldn’t avoid it.
Then you may feel some smooth ground underneath your feet…so you know you are on a path…a well-worn path upon which many have traveled before you…
…but you don’t know if this is the right path…if this is the path that will bring you back to your friends, your family…back to safety.
But it is a path, nevertheless, so you try and walk along it.
Pretty soon something trips your feet up again…this time it might be a root sticking out of the ground from a tree…
…and this time you find yourself stumbling and falling…
…you crack your head on something and you begin to feel blood running down your face.
Anxiety begins to rush through your veins…your heart starts pumping wildly…but you get up and try walking again…
…but it seems that you end up spending more time tripping, stumbling, falling, and hurting yourself than you do walking.
You begin to feel hungry and thirsty…and you realize that you have been out in this darkness for a long time.
You hear strange noises…leaves rustling, twigs cracking…
…is there some ferocious animal getting ready to pounce on you?
You have no idea because you cannot see.
You start to run, but this only causes more problems as you continue to bump into things…trees, low hanging branches, more rocks, more roots, holes in the earth…
…finally…you become hopeless.
You are lost, you are hurt and bleeding, you are hungry and thirsty, you are surrounded by darkness…
…you are going to die out here in the woods.
You are never going to be able to find your way home!
Then you remember that a friend had given you a flashlight.
That friend had told you that you will need a flashlight in the darkness or else you will get lost, and you will not see the rocks on the path and the roots sticking out of the earth…
…and you will not be able to avoid them…
…so you will trip and stumble and fall over everyone of them that get in your way.
You fumble for the flashlight, you find the switch, you flick the switch and all of a sudden there is light!
Now you are able to see for sure that you are on the wrong path.
But this time you are able to see the rocks and the roots before you come to them so you step around them and you do not trip, stumble and fall.
Your heart rejoices as you find the right path…the path that will lead you to where you need to go in order to get food, drink, shelter and life.
You are no longer lost!
And you are able to find your way home!
And you treasure that flashlight…for it is the thing which has saved your life.
You keep it close to you at all times…and you never go out in the darkness without it.
Now imagine that these dark woods are the world.
The path that you cannot find is the narrow road that leads to life, which only a few will find.
The rocks, roots, and branches that keep tripping you up are temptations and sins.
And the flashlight represents the Word of God.
Every time I have tried to find my way in this dark world…to make it on my own…without the Word of God…the One and Only Light in this dark world…I have tripped, stumbled and fallen over every temptation and sin that has gotten in my way!
The Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path.
And yet how many of us…even within the Church…make the decision to stumble around in the darkness rather than to let the Light of God’s Word lead our way?
And it is a decision.
When we arise in the morning, do we make the decision to open God’s Word and start the day with our feet firmly planted on the ground?
Do we meditate on God’s Word throughout the day? Do we seek the answers to our daily and hourly problems and questions in God’s Word?