Sunday, 8 April 2018

God is Light

After a hiatus of almost three months, I am back to sermon writing, back to work, back to health. 

God is Light - a sermon preached on 8th April 2018
John 20: 19-31; 1 John 1:1-2:2
It will not have escaped anyone’s notice that it is still Easter!
As this new season progresses it is a good time to explore the question – what does Easter mean now? Both for us as individual followers of Christ and for the whole world – who may, or not, know it is still Easter.
Some would argue that the season of Easter isn’t just the seven weeks between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, but that every Sunday is a mini Easter – we worship and acknowledge that we are followers of Jesus Christ – Our RISEN SAVIOUR.
Earlier we heard about the events of the week after Jesus resurrection; which seems entirely appropriate today. I have questions. Why wasn’t Thomas with the others on that first day?
Where did he go?
Why did he feel the need to be away from everyone else… well, might I suggest that we all mourn differently? That sometimes we need space to grieve without everyone else sharing how they feel about it? maybe he had just needed a little alone time.
What a time to step out! I can only imagine the building up of frustration and irritation as those who had been there went over and over it; leaving Thomas more and more determined that he will not believe them until he has his own proof…
And there he was, a week later, mired in his own darkness and misery; not daring to seek quiet or solitude, ‘just in case’… and lo and behold!!
Here is Jesus. Thomas sees; Thomas touches; Thomas hears his own name called; Thomas believes – he sees the light!
And then, he worships God.
The risen, living Son of Man – Jesus – God the Son.

Some years later… John writes to a church – we are not told if it is a specific group, or a general letter to the many churches that had built up in the interim. But his message is clear.
He repeats – over and over:
We heard Jesus
We touched Jesus
We saw Jesus
We are telling you what we know because we were witnesses to Jesus, life and death and resurrection.
The message Jesus told us is this:
God is Light
We tell you this so that we may all share fellowship -together and with God.
The importance of light and dark; of confession and forgiveness cannot be underestimated.
There is darkness in the world; there is darkness in our lives; in acknowledging that we are able to move from dark to light; this enables our fellowship, it enhances our worship, it develops our relationship with God.
All of this is made possible because of Jesus; the reading from John’s letter included the opening verses of chapter two – because this is the conclusion of the first verses – if you sin, if you fall into the dark, do not worry! For Jesus is our advocate; Jesus’ sacrifice has brought light into the darkness: forgiveness for our sins; and he did it for all humanity.
Not just one or two chosen ones; but also for the whole world.
This is the Good News!
God is Light
Through Christ there is hope for all humanity.
Whether you are Thomas – confounded and doubting
Or Peter – impetuous and denying
Or any of the others – zealous, fearful, brave, loyal, betraying, defeated and triumphant. They were all of these things, light and dark all mixed up together.
Just like now
Just like us
And that, that really is Good News.