Rose Park Sunday School (Adults and Children) at 8:45 a.m. / Worship at 9:45 a.m.

Madison Sunday School (Adults and Children) 10:15 a.m. / Worship at 11:15 a.m.

July 15, 2022

Read 1 John 1:5-10

5 This is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” 6 If we claim, “We have fellowship with him,” and live in the darkness, we are lying and do not act truthfully. 7 But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. 10 If we claim, “We have never sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

Good morning! In Him there is no darkness at all!

Wow! Lightning danced and lit up the sky again last night. Thank you Lord for providing for our needs. As I prepare to go to Wallops, I am excited to go to a place that has brought me such joy over the years, but I am sad to leave my new congregations after such a short time together. I am just beginning to create a new routine and meet new people and now I must place all of that on hold. Yes, it’s just a week, but in a time in my life that I crave a bit of normalcy, it is a distraction. 

John speaks of light versus darkness at length in his writings as he teaches that when we are with God we are in the light, but when we dismiss God from our lives we are living in darkness. In this passage, John is addressing a group of followers who have been swayed by false prophets claiming to preach the Word. John is reconfirming that Jesus is the light of the World and through Him those who confess their sins are forgiven and are cleansed. 

There are many who want to live in the darkness because they like the idea that others cannot see them clearly. Evil resides in the darkness! I remember a 1980’s movie, The Natural, where Robert Redford plays a baseball player whose life took a sudden, unexpected turn during his youth. Most of the movie shows his life as a “middle-aged” baseball player trying to have that one moment of success. Throughout the movie, there is a tension between good and evil. The bad guy, the owner, likes to sit in a room without light and with the shades drawn (evil personified). For a bit, Roy (Redford) is pulled into the evil scheme, but he gets a glimpse of the light and is suddenly reawakened so that he can find his way back to goodness. 

The darkness/evil has great power to seduce us because we think that we can hide things from others when we stay out of the light. We like the shininess and glittering of the earthly treasures that are rooted in evil. We see others having fun and living “better” than we are, and we are tempted to join in the party based in darkness. In Proverbs 4:19 we read, 19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. 

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.” (John 8:12 NIV) Thanks be to the mercy and grace of God for sending Jesus to light our way. When we stumble into the stronghold of evil, Jesus is brightly shining so that we may be awakened from our stupor and find our way back to our path of faith. 

Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. We are sinners! Thank you for loving us and showering us in Your grace and mercy. Without You, the world is submerged in darkness.  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Thought for the day: Each day God gives me abundant mercy and grace.

Be brave! Be the Light! Pastor Liz