Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. – Isaiah 60
As I sit and write this of an evening, I am listening to Kings College Choir Christmas carols. Has so much ever been written or sung of one person, that is the Christ? Have hundreds, maybe thousands of songs and hymns been sung of Buddha or Mohammed? Have so many devoted themselves just to the study of the person of Jesus, and written tomes of thought on the experience? Is there any period in history where this person of Jesus has not had influence on a person or group of people somewhere to change for the better, the circumstance and lives of those around them? We do well to remember who is the real King, especially at such times as this. And what times we live in.
Last week we went onto the streets for several hours, and managed to talk to many about this person of Jesus. Not once in nearly a decade of witnessing on the streets have I been confronted with such confusion, such darkness of thought. Is our society changing I wonder?
Are we collectively no longer able to call wrong for what it is, or good for what it is? Have we so completely fallen for the lie that all paths lead to God, that Jesus was merely one of many great teachers and that each must find the path that suits them? I fear so. To so many, God’s holiness is a thing almost of scorn, after all, aren’t we gods ourselves, able to control our destiny and understanding all things in the light of our own wisdom and knowledge? If I believe in reincarnation, then it must be so and I will be able to will it into being. What need do I have of Jesus?
Friends, how did this thinking come to be part of our everyday society?
One thing is for sure, there will be consequences which our children and grand children will need to face and I feel very much after bringing this before the Lord, that we are to blame. My generation and those recently past, we who have been all too quiet on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Did we stand silent as in daily conversation, the person of Jesus Christ was put on a level with others, were we more concerned with our comfort rather than whether our neighbours are heading for hell?
Surely had your life been different, or mine then we would have seen Christ preached on the street corners, people healed, set free and the power of God move on our world as in times past. What, do we not believe that is as He wants? Surely Scripture would tell us otherwise, that our God is not a mute with nothing to say to this world. Do we forget that he alone, through his Son, has the only answers to this present tragic darkness. No friends, we have been the mute.
I fear then that soon, perhaps very soon, there will be moves to banish the name of Jesus Christ from our society altogether. Look at our schools, our laws, our governments, our very fabric of society. Have not the enemies of Christ done such a good job in persuading us that he is little more than a good man, yet still there might be better. If so, why ever pay him much attention?
So when we come to talk to everyday people, people with real needs in their lives, so many are so completely blinded not only to what is on offer, but what is to come. Our work it seems, even if we start today will be so much harder than before. Decades of portraying God as a liturgy found only in a building, whom can only be approached while wearing our Sunday best has blinded an entire generation to the beauty and answer found in Christ alone.
Has not God already proclaimed that it would happen regardless, did I hear you say? Surely he has, but do we not think that for the sake of those around us, he will move heaven and earth to reveal himself so that they will be saved.
The question just remains, as it always has – what will you and I do, at what cost, to bring the will of God down to our earth such that his Son’s name might be proclaimed in the darkness, the only true Light of the World.
Will we wait until there are no believers left, till there is no example for the next generation to follow? Pray not, then move out and let the world know that this Christmas a Light has come to the world, one that saves as no other. He has no equal.