Revd Ian Chaplin
27 January 2008, Third Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1-10; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-25
[These notes were scribbled (at 10am) by Linda, knowing that Ian's sermons do not come from notes! Hopefully I have put down some of the special words that Ian gave us this morning.]
Readings today all have "light and darkness" in them
Isaiah: the people who walked in darkness;
The gospel: 4:16 — the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light
Psalm 27: the Lord is my light
Light is used as a metaphor…it is the way we engage with creation (those of us who are sighted)
We see creation, feel it, love it … through light, and it holds the Universe together!
Einstein worked out that everything is related: that E=MC2 so connecting Energy, mass and the speed of light. Light is a leading metaphor for the presence of God.
In St Paul's London is the Holman Hunt picture "The Light of the World".
The Light of the World, Jesus carrying a lantern, knocking on a door…a painting found in many places, including in a window in the Cathcart church … as in the song:
"I will hold the Christ light for you
in the darkness of your fear."
Different people hold the light for you, and you have held it for others.
In the first chapter of John's gospel it says: "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."
The light that shines out will go on for ever (right across the galaxy!). So it is for the light we generate. Each little flame is a light on our path, every little word of encouragement, a gentle touch, a smile…
We have all sat in darkness…but the light has come from time to time…
It is a long and dusky and stumbling life. Light comes when we feel love; from people and from God. All the darkness, ignorance, folly, cruelty, pride, malice, has still not put out the light that has come from love, goodness, joy. Each small flickering flame, all our little acts, shine on forever (like the light of that candle), when we embrace truth, hope, compassion, forgiveness, love…and all the negativity cannot quench it.
We are all the recipients of countless pinpricks of light —These flames of the light never die.
Jesus was known as "the light of the world" His act of majestic love has lit the world ever since and lights up who we are and is reflected in the human eye. If we look closely we see the light that Jesus saw.