Sunday, March 22, 2009

For God So Loved

Today's Link
Tamela's Place

Today's Saying

John 3:19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Today's Picture
Its Back

Today is celebrated as the 4th Sunday of Lent in the Liturgical Churches. The gospel in the churches following the common lectionary is John 3:14-21.
The other night I was watching some crime show and it made me think of this verse. The criminals had taken several leading citizens hostage and were offering to free them if the bank manager brought them a very large ransom. The police told him not to do it. It was too dangerous. The men couldn’t be trusted. But the bank manager wanted to save them. So he slipped away from his police guard and took the money to an old warehouse. It was really dark inside and you just knew something bad was going to happen. Sure enough they shot him and took the money. He knew he might die but he wanted to save the hostages so he went anyway.
That’s the way I see God’s action at Calvary.
God did not want Jesus to die.
God did not need a sacrifice .
God just wanted to let us know we were loved.
He wanted to save us from the darkness.
But God knew what we were like.
He knew that mankind preferred darkness to light.
He saw they would probably turn on him and try to put out the light.
But he came anyway.
That’s what I see when I hear the words “ God so loved the world”.
I see the God who knowing what we were like came to save us anyway.
I know that’s a horribly simplistic Christology.
I have read many that were much better.
But I keep seeing the God who comes into our darkness to save us.
Some saw the light before He died. They began to learn to walk in it.
When He was lifted up on the cross others began to come to the light.
It’s a wonderful thing the light of Christ.
It lets you see the obstacles in your path and you can go around them.
It lets you see people in a different way so you can love the unlovable.
In the light there is great joy and peace.
I have no desire to go back into my personal darkness.
I know there are still those who prefer the darkness, their darkness.
But God came to save them too.
That’s just the way I see it.
You can come and walk with me in this light or not.
The choice is always yours.
But I know that God so loved the world that He came into the darkness to bring the light.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
Pastor Joan was too sick this morning to preach or lead the service. This pregnancy is causing her some problems. She called Herman and he said he would be glad to fill in. It’s a good job he is going to Lay School and has gotten some training in preaching and leading the service. Upper Michigan is very short on supply preachers.
Pastor Joan doesn’t want to be in the pulpit and heave all over the front row. Of course, because Last Lutheran is Lutheran there probably won’t be anybody sitting there. She hopes this part of her pregnancy will pass quickly.
Tammy and Tommy UK have made up and sat together in the balcony this morning. They are both in Confirmation so they are supposed to take notes on Herman’s sermon.
Herman talked about the God who finds us. God isn’t lost so we can’t find God. Herman said whenever God’s searchlight hit his life he would crawl into the darkness of a bottle of booze of one kind or another. He was pretty good at hiding. But then one day the light got so bright he couldn’t hide any more and he made a fantastic discovery. God loved him. God wasn’t looking to punish him. God wanted him to know the joy of walking in the light. Now everyday he is learning a little more of that wonder. He is sorry he hid for so long.

Wrap UP
For a fuller and far better Christology read Alastair' s lecture HERE . I had a great day. We went to Church. I took pictures. I talked to people. People at St. Mark's are so kind and so caring they put up with an old man like me.Pastor had two good sermons today. The children's sermon and the one for us older people. After church we went out to lunch. Then I spent the rest of the day working on getting everything put together for St. Mark's website. Then I visited all the blogs that left comments yesterday and left a comment on the one's that had new entries. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Jeni said...

You may regard your explanation, your acceptance of God's love for us as very simplistic but this is one instance where I think keeping it ultra simple in explanation is best and right on target too! Or maybe I also just believe that great minds think alike as well. Whatever, your words are very, very true but sometimes I think too that some people have to have a hammer hit them on the head or some long, drawn out, extremely technical explanation in order to understand things. Me, I prefer the easy path as much as possible so that's probably another reason I liked your lesson for the day.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think HErman's sermon is every bit as good as Alastair's. Personal experience is a powerful witness.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Amen Dr John, Powerful Post, thank you for sharing.

Oh, Our snow is back as well. I keep asking Quilly to send some Tropical Weather but she doesn't seem to have a mind too.

Thank you Dr John, A blessed Sunday is wished for you and Betty and Family.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, I like and need simple the best of all...Straight Forward.

My life was rather gloomy and sad when I didn't walk in the light. It is still hard, but with practice I am finidng it so refreshing and inpsiring. Like you said, God never left me...he was always there...I was the one that was hiding.

Great Post Dr. J...come enter my give away and tell your wife to enter as well...all is legal on my give away! Have a great day.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I have not been to Alastairs yet - but I know I'm going to love it when I get there! And I loved yours too. Sometimes the truth IS simple.
Herman is an excellent witness. Isn't it great that God is a better seeker than we are hiders?!

I get to to church today!!! I'm so excited! Missed you yesterday!

6:06 AM  
Blogger Finding Pam said...

I enjoyed Alasairs post. He is fortunate that his congregation takes such good care of him and his family.

Thank you for your touching post today. I believe it is best to keep it simple as well. I am thankful for your Sunday sermons. You touch so many folks through your blog. I say "Amen".

7:11 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Beautiful sermon this morning. Simple is always good.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herman is exactly right.

Sorry about the return of snow... it WILL be over soon!!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

I love your explanation Dr. John. :)

11:09 AM  
Blogger LoieJ said...

Your analogy is good.
We saw Gran Torino last week. That movie also contains a similar analogy.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I'm not very religious I do look forward to the sermons on Sunday. Simple means so much. We had snow here in Nevada today...Oh Honolulu here I come :) Have a great day.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Cherie said...

Amen Brother Doctor John! :)

6:28 PM  
Blogger Voegtli said...

Reading your post I felt as if I were in church. Listening to a sermon. It felt good. Perhaps I should go back to church. I have not gone to church for years.

Basically for two reasons: I was not really interested to go. And in the last 7 years I lived in places where there were no churches.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

You made a point ! That's the first time in my life a pastor makes his speach around a crime story ! Found it very good !
I have to protest ! you are not old !! only 4 years older than me and I don't feel old at all. And if people still love to talk to you that means that you are not an old grumpy boy !

12:10 AM  
Blogger Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Great post Dr. J.
Keeping it simple keeps it real.

6:05 AM  

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