Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A message presented at Urbana 2009 describing the light of Christ that shows us His perspective on ourselves, others, and things eternal.

1. Intro: My Life Would Forever Be Changed:

* The wood floor crackled & popped like Rice Crispies. My back warmed as the spring sun invaded our home-pouring in through those leaded glass windows after a long, dark winter.

* I thumbed the new book my dad had given me for my 9th birthday with excitement and wonder. I had never seen the ocean or been on a boat or seen a whale but through the adventures of the boy in this book, I would quickly become acquainted with the beauty and simultaneous horrors of the deep blue seas.

* Each day I'd rush to sit in the spring sun by the windows, allowing that light to envelope me as I drank in words and pictures of another world.

* The book, "The Boy that Sailed Around the World by Himself" is no longer in print, it didn't make the best sellers list, it will not be remembered by future generations but for me at was a portal into another world.

* Not long after my birthday we were evicted from that home with the leaded glass windows.

* I remember that morning in high definition-stuffing all our earthly possessions into the garage, piling everything to the rafters before beginning our "adventure" life on the stormy streets of Detroit.

* Whether living in our van, an abandoned building, the basement of a church-I always tried to find a warm window and a swatch of sun to warm my back and to read "The Boy Who Sailed Around the World by Himself."

* I wanted so much to be like him-to take on the dark days and the monsters of the deep with bravery instead of fear, and to return back home after my epic adventure was complete.

* But one of the things we can count on for sure in this world is that our lives will be filled with a constant ebb and flow of dark days and threatening storms on the horizon followed by days of invading light.

* It is this great ebb and flow of invading light into the darkness that frames for us the entire story of God, of things past and grandiose and of things dreadful and yet to come.

* It is this great battle between light and darkness, good and evil, joy and chaos that forms for us the very backdrop of all history.

* In John 3, we are told of the great invading light of the person of Jesus Christ!

2. God-light forever changes our world and brackets all human and divine history.

* In Jesus, the light has come and this invasion of God-light forever changes our world-it brackets all human and divine history.

* God has always used invasions of light to accomplish his plans, his great cosmic plans but also the plans for our lives as well.

* In fact, your very story can only be rightly understood and interpreted by one reality and one reality alone-where you stand in relation to this God-light of Jesus Christ!

* God's invading light provides the framework by which we understand the story of our lives and the story of God's world.

* The story God's been telling throughout the ages has three great bookmarks which all revolve around light invading darkness:

* In Gen. 1, God gives us the first bracket of divine history; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void...Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness."

* This creation light is God's first act of separating and dispelling darkness with God-light.

* But there is a third great invasion of light as well that gives us the final bracket of God's great story.

* At the end of history, while the world is covered in spiritual darkness, while the armies and ideologies of the world collide, while all hope for justice seems dashed, He will appear again.

* "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man...Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear...coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory." (Mt. 24:27, 29-30b, NIV).

* The past invasion of creation light points forward to the person of Christ. The future invasion of the judgment light at the end of time points backwards Christ so that all human history revolves around God's great invading light found in Jesus Christ here in John 3.

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