Arise, Shine

  • Friday, December 3, 2010
  • The sun will rise because He died.

    “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” Isaiah 9:2

    I have my Husker-red shirt on as I study here in my church office today. Pastor Troy has also worn his “red”…but, as I pointed out to him, his is dangerously close to SOONER red. It’s big-game weekend once again! And with each of these major athletic challenges comes the echo of Coach T.O.’s infamous statement in the immediate aftermath of painful disappointment, “The sun will still come up in the morning.”

    Last evening my grandson, Tate, asked me to sit with him and watch the most recent DVD he had checked out at Gere Library. It was a documentary on the weather. (Probably normal fare for a scientifically wired adult…not typical selection for a six year-old-boy, unless of course, there is an adult mind living in that-six-year-old body…and there is!) And the show opens with the Aztec Indians’ story of the origin of the sun.

    Their explanation? Major gods willingly died to cause the sun to exist. But the gods must be pacified, so every evening it was considered necessary for a human life to be offered as a sacrifice to the god of the sun in hopes that satisfaction over the offering would cause the sun to rise the next morning. The sun will rise because they died.

    The gods of man’s creation can never be satisfied. They demand full allegiance, sacrifice and unending, exhausting, costly service. A life sacrificed on their altar tonight simply reminds their worshippers that another life must be placed on that same altar tomorrow. They believe that the sun will rise ONLY because they died.

    Into the darkness of a world where futile sacrifices brought no lasting relief, no peace and no hope, Jesus came as the Light of the World. And He gave Himself to the altar so that all who turn in faith to Him alone, might discover the hope of eternal life. They will live because He died. The sun will rise because HE died!

    It’s only Friday afternoon and far too early to know how the game this weekend is going to turn out. We know for certain that someone wearing “red” will be euphoric over victory. And that someone else wearing “red” will be deeply disappointed. But whichever way the final scoreboard reads, Coach T.O. would rightly remind us, “The sun will still come up in the morning.”

    And of far more serious consequence, the blessed hope of those who have ceased from their futile efforts at pacifying their self-made gods and have turned in faith to the Light of the World, the sun will rise because HE died.

    “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. And the nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3

    See you Sunday Church! (Win OR Lose)
    Pastor Tom


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