Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Light shines in the darkness

The following is part of my testimony of light coming into darkness - of the light of God, through Jesus Christ, coming into the darkness of my world.  There may be areas of darkness that lie hidden in my world still, but the light that has come into my life is a far greater power than that darkness, and is able to rescue me from it.

'In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.'  John ch.1 vs.4,5

It is written out of my deep conviction that God is the only true light, and that He has sent His Son Jesus Christ to bring this true light to a darkened world.   Without this true light I am convinced that no individual will have eternal life, an intimate knowledge of God which enables us to carry on existing with Him in a place that Jesus has prepared for those who believe on Him after our earthly bodies have passed away.  As a believer in Jesus Christ I am commanded by Him to spread His gospel, which I do in any way I can, including my writings.

'And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'  John ch.17 v.3

Just as the moon has no light of it's own and can only reflect the light of the sun, so too has the church no light of it's own and may only reflect the light of Jesus Christ.

                            The Light shines in the darkness


                                          Oh light of heaven, Holy king                            
                                           of whom the hosts of angels sing
                                           rekindle flame in darkened Earth   
                                           by stirring those of second birth
                                           to speak with boldness of the love
                                           sent by the Father from above

                                                   ***
                                          
                                           When on a night so dark and cold
                                            was prophesy fulfilled of old
                                            A child to maid of no renown
                                            was born to wear man's thorny crown
                                            to bear the shame and take the place
                                            of mankind fallen from God's grace

                                                              ***
                                          
                                           Who now with sin beneath His feet
                                            stands at the side of God's own seat
                                            declaring peace forever more
                                            to those who enter through the door
                                            of righteousness gained by God's Son
                                            the Father's gift to everyone

I believe the fact that we have no light of our own, and that we must only reflect the light of Christ, was emphasized to me through an incident in my life several years ago.

I had been watching a programme on the television called 'Shining Lights - The Illuminator'.  It was about some Catholic monks in America who had commissioned people to produce a hand written, illustrated Bible as close as possible to the original style of Bibles written in the middle ages.  It was to be a Bible commissioned to celebrate the millennium.  Although the main artist-calligrapher was a man who lived in North Wales who did exceptional illuminated lettering and calligraphy as well as illustrations, there were other people who also worked on this Bible.

A few days after I had watched this programme I was given a project at one of the writers' circles I attended.  It was to write on the subject of 'Light'.  I did not think this coincidence.  The next day I had arranged to go to the local reference library to use the internet and met my calligraphy tutor Stephanie there.  An exhibition of our work was on display in the library and she was dropping some packaging off.  I told her I had seen the programme 'Shining lights' and asked her if she had seen it.  She told me she had missed it but had heard it was good and wanted to view it herself.  She said she had rung around several people to enquire if they had recorded it but had been unsuccessful in finding one who had and asked if I had taped it, to which I replied that I had not.

The following day I was thinking it was a pity Stephanie had missed the programme, knowing that she would have thoroughly enjoyed it, so I rang the BBC to enquire whether the programme would be shown again or if there was any way I could get hold of a tape.  The man I was speaking to said that I could write to a lady called 'Clare' who may be able to give me some information.  'That's Clare without the 'i' he said, and proceeded to give me the address where she could be contacted.  I noted the address and sent a letter off to Clare with my request, taking care to spell her name without an i.

That afternoon I started reflecting on the happenings of the previous few days and could hear the voice of God speaking to me through the events of these days.  In the same way that many people were working on this Bible we, as the body of Christ, are many working as one church with the different gifts and ministries that we have been given, to spread the light of the Gospel to the world.  We are to be shining lights before men, shining the light of the gospel into the darkness of this world.  However, just as the man at the BBC had said 'Clare without the 'i', and the name 'Claire' comes from the word meaning 'bright' or if used as an adjective in French can mean 'light', so we must take the ' I ', or self, out of  the light that we shine as God's messengers.  For although we are shining lights, our illuminator can only be Jesus, who is the express image of God. 

Jesus is the light of the world and He is the only light we must reflect to the world, the only light we must work by and the only light we must walk by.  Isaiah ch.50 v.11 says that all those who walk by their own lights will be in torment.  As children of light we have the true light in Jesus the Word of God, and as long as that light is the only light we use to see we shall never walk in darkness and we shall also be free from torment.

A tape of the programme 'Shining Lights-The Illuminator' was sent to me.  Yet another example of the love of God towards all of us, including my calligraphy tutor Steahanie.

A kaleidoscope has always been something that has fascinated me since I was a small child.  It is an optical instrument which has a tube containing two reflecting surfaces inclined to each other at a suitable angle.    These two surfaces are able to exhibit, by reflection, the most incredibly beautiful colours and symmetrical forms from just ordinary pieces of glass. I am reminded by it of the plan of salvation that was brought about when God said in Genesis ch.1 v.26 'Let us make man in our image' ( The word used here for 'man' is a collective, meaning mankind). God and His Son Jesus Christ have the divine ability to transform sinful man into their beautiful image, and we the church have been given the job of spreading this good news.

'But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.'

John ch.1 vs.12,13






16 comments:

Frank Blasi said...

Yes, I remember the kaleidoscope, easily found at any toyshop during my childhood in the late 1950s and early 60s. The body made of tin, too. Too bad that children of today have never seen such an innocent gadget of reflections, let alone handle one.
We are lights of the world, shining God's light rather than our own.
An excellent post.

Brenda Rees said...

Hello Frank, thankyou for your kind comment. I hope one day that I shall come across an original kaleidoscope, maybe in a second hand shop or a car boot. I would love to own one.

Annmarie Pipa said...

Bishop Sheen said of the Blessed Virgin...she is like the moon...her light reflects a greater source.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Hello there :-) Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my post. I'm Glad you did or I wouldn't have known about this wonderful Blog you have here. I loooove that poem at the Top of your blog, it is awesome. And I love this post, with another great poem. It's always great coming across persons who share the same Love for Jesus. I will be checking out your blog often. :-)

Brenda Rees said...

Thankyou for your kind comment Sateigdra. Yes, I have a great love for Jesus, and without His reflecting the Father's light in my life I would still be in total darkness. I enjoyed reading your post too, and will look at your blog often. I love interacting with other christians, and non christians too. Distance is no barrier on the internet eh?

Child of God said...

Hi Brenda,
I totally agree that we must take self out of the equitation so Christ can fully shine through us.

I love your poem! It would go very well in a Christian fiction novel something like the stories Wayne Thomas Batson writes.

The more we desire Jesus and want His ways to fill us, the brighter He will shine through us to all who come across our path.

Great post, thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
<><

Brenda Rees said...

Hi child of God,
That is right, if I was to lift myself up, there wouold be absolutely nothing to draw anyone.

T-Childs said...

'Just as the moon has no light of it's own and can only reflect the light of the sun, so too has the church no light of it's own and may only reflect the light of Jesus Christ.' I think that says it all really Brenda; it's all His work and we merely need to obey and be faithful.

My dad was a kind of creative person, and he used to make kaleidescopes (amongst many other things) for us when we were kids. They were so simple and yet gave us so much pleasure; ah simple pleasures!

Brenda Rees said...

Hi Tim,
how lovely that your dad made kaleidescopes. I've got great memories of my dad too, we didn't have a lot of money but he kept us happy with simple things and 'magic' tricks such as rolling pennies down his arm and into his hand but we could never find them when we opened his hand. He used to make up stories which always had happy endings, I think that's why I love happy endings.

Kelline said...

I was just having this same conversation with a friend last night. This is no coincidence to me either, that I spoke these sayings last night to him. I believe this is God confirming that I'm on the right path.

We are not meant to be religious wonderers but lights shining into the darkness that pervades the lives of men. If I walk up to people and start talking scripture to them, they are uninterested. But, if I walk up to people showing them the scriptures coming to life in me by attitude and love, then they're interested in me and everything about me. Not because of me but because of what they see in me and that "what" is God and His Holy Spirit. So, we are definitely the light.

In my social network arena, I see people going from post to post fussing at the authors of the posts for their language and then citing scripture as their reason. Never giving thought to the fact that if one doesn't believe in God, then there's no conviction to be had. Those people are pushed out immediately and blocked from commenting again. They've lost their chance. It's an unnecessary act of zealousy. If I go to those same posts and show love and compassion, then I remain in that person's circle of friends and that puts me one step closer to having a discussion with them about their salvation and beliefs. But it comes about through my acceptance of them. Instead of driving them away with intolerance and indignation, I draw them to me with love and compassion. The same as Jesus did.

Bless you Brenda, and thank you for your prayers. I believe in the power of prayer and have seen yours in action. The last promise of prayer you made yielded results. You're a great woman of God.

Brenda Rees said...

No Kelline,
I'm just a lover of God, Jesus and people, just like you are. I love your honesty and believe that is what Jesus wants to see in us. I can never hide from God what I am so I might just as well be me. Job said 'I will maintain my own ways for a hypocrite will not come before the Lord'. The change in me comes gradually by the Lord revealing the truth and beauty in His word. Who would not want to become like Him?

Paul G said...

Thanks Brenda for the link.
I finally got around to read your post on "let us make man in our image'22 Nov. 2011".
I have read it a couple of times to make sure that I understand it correctly.
It is interesting to see how your understanding puts it all together to make some sort of sense and I think that many Christians perhaps would agree with you.
As for me, I do not see it like that. Because of a misunderstanding of the most important doctrine, 'the doctrine of God' it makes it very difficult for you for explain that passage of Scripture properly and correct.
You said, 'the us' could well refer to God and Jesus'. To God and Jesus? Well Brenda; exactly in how many Gods do you believe?
Is God a 'God' and Jesus a 'God' or what? That would be two Gods.
You said that God is speaking to Jesus; do you think that the real big God is speaking to a little God Jesus?

And Adam did not have a sinful nature, because he was created perfect with one nature, later Jesus was born the second Adam also with one nature, the nature of man just like Adam who was created in the image of God (Jesus).
Kind regrades
Paul

Brenda Rees said...

Hello Paul,
Just read your comment. My post 'Let us make man in our image' is simply written on scriptures that I have observed in the Bible, nothing more, and what I believe they could be saying. As for your question How many gods do I believe in? I believe in one God, the One who made Jesus my Lord, the One that Jesus called 'Father' when He was on earth and the One that is stated in many places in the scriptures as being seated at the right hand of God. The first letter of John ch.1 v3 states that our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the express image of God, God is Spirit and Jesus, who was called the Son of God while on earth, now to us the Holy Spirit, being the word of God is the only way of reconciling us back to God, and gaining eternal life. (Eternal life is to know God and His Son Jesus Christ). Adam did sin against God by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil when God had said not to, and as a result lost eternal life, being put out of the garden of Eden and denied access to the tree of life. Adam then went on to have a son IN HIS OWN LIKENESS, AFTER HIS IMAGE, so subsequant generations were also in this image. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. Jesus was not born of an earthly father, there was no earthly fertilization involved whatsoever. There are many mysteries in the scriptures which we may not quite understand, they will be foolishness to the carnal mind. Deuteronomy ch.29 v.29 states that the secret things belong to God, those revealed belong to us. Our carnal mind is not able to understand a sentence that reads, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.' How can something be two and one. Is it because when all are Spirit they become one? We don't discount what we don't understand. What is written there is so, and if God wants to give more understanding He will. So there are many things which I may not understand, but I know that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God and that my salvation lies with Him.
I hope that I have answered your questions, but whatever we may or may not totally understand with one another's writings, let each search the scriptures for themselves.
best wishes
Brenda

Brenda Rees said...

Sorry Paul,
Where I say in my comment,'the One who is seated at the right hand of God', I should have written 'The One who has Jesus seated at His right hand'.
Brenda

Paul G said...

No Brenda, that is a metaphor.
I hope not that you think that God is one person and next to Him is another person called Jesus?
Jesus is the alpha and the omega.

By the way, I like your posts, except the confusion of the person of God.
Kind regards
Paul

Brenda Rees said...

I believe that God is a Spirit Paul, as it says in the Scriptures, and that Jesus is seated at His right hand, as it says in the scriptures, and that 'the end will come when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.' 1 corinthians ch.15(vs.25 - 28) goes on to say that when He has done this then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put everything under Him so that God may be all in all. In this life, while on earth and when born of God's Holy Spirit, we are one in Jesus and God. 'that they may all be one even as Thou,Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me' (John ch.17 v21). Thankyou for your kind comment about my posts, I shall look at some of yours.
regards
Brenda