The theme of light runs through the sermon text for this Lord’s Day (Luke 8:16-18). Light is a metaphor for truth. The truth mentioned in our text has God as its source and Jesus as both its messenger and subject. Jesus called his hearers to listen carefully to his message because it brings both hope and threat; as light, it illuminates and exposes.
Our hymns speak of the light that resides in God and pierces the darkness of the world, illuminating blind “eyes.”
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Welcome and Call to Worship
Hymn 23 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Note: Paul said, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17). With similar lyrics, we exalt God for his transcendent character. He is beyond our ability to grasp fully; his truth is inaccessible to our minds. But we can truly know him because he graciously makes himself known to his people.
Hymn 3 Holy, Holy, Holy
Note: This famous trinitarian hymn affirms that there is no other God but the One who eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The third verse reminds us that his glory is shrouded in the darkness of this sin-filled world, sin that blinds our eyes to the truth. But the holy God, “merciful and mighty,” has made a way for us to know him.
Scripture Reading: John 8:12-30
Note: Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world.” Light is an obvious metaphor for truth. John 8 makes clear that the truth Jesus proclaimed came from the Father and has the work of Jesus as its center. Consequences follow both trust and rejection of Jesus’ message.
Note: God calls us to himself requiring only repentant faith as we trust his mercy and grace extended to us through the work of his Son, Jesus Christ. So, we sing words that reflect the repentant prayer of David (Psalm 51).
God, be merciful to me,
on thy grace I rest my plea
Hymn 247 Amazing Grace
Notes: The author of perhaps the most famous hymn, John Newton, said in his autobiography, “March the 21st is a day to be remembered by me. I have never suffered (allowed) it to pass wholly unnoticed since the year 1748. On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me from deep waters.” We, like him, must never get over the grace of God given through Christ that opened our eyes: “I once was blind but now I see.”
Message: Post Tenebras Lux
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Thy Strong Word
Note: Rich metaphors layer our final hymn as it describes the work of the Triune God in our salvation. Light is the theme. The first verse echoes Genesis 1, attributing creation to God’s “strong Word,” a double entre for Christ (John 1:1-3). This strong Word created light, but more important was the Light that broke into a world of darkness, an allusion to the incarnation of Christ. The Light, the Word, declares righteous all who embrace the glorious work of the cross. The final two verses offer prayer that God will help us fulfill the Great Commission for the glory of the Triune God. “Give us lips to sing Thy glory, Tongues Thy mercy to proclaim!”
Prayer Response: Mark Williams
Benediction: John Miles