Showing posts with label darkness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label darkness. Show all posts

29 November 2011

Earls Barton - The light in the middle

< 22nd November 2011 | Index | 5th December 2011 >

It's been far too long since I visited my friends here. Jim and I drove over to spend the evening with them and we had a discussion followed by a sweet time guided and encouraged by the Spirit.

Light in the middleAt first we talked about a range of topics. I wondered how unusual meetings like this might be. I'm not aware of very many, and this is something being discussed more widely in recent months. (See for example articles by Felicity Dale, Ross Rohde, John White, Bobby Auner, and even me!)

We also discussed prayer for healing and recognised that both the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit are necessary. Healing is good, but gentleness, grace and kindness are also necessary.

And we thought about grace in the sense that we find it hard to receive, often preferring to try to do everything for ourselves.

Then we moved on to a time of listening and sharing - here are some aspects that appealed to me personally.

Barbara read Isaiah 26:3 where we are told that he will keep in perfect peace those whose thoughts are fixed on him. This encouraged Jim to share a story about helping someone after a heart attack in which Isaiah 38:1-5 played a part.

Rachael shared a picture, she saw what seemed to be an aquarium with fish swimming in it, but as she looked she saw that the scene was really amongst the roots of a tree growing on a riverbank. There were flying insects in the water, too, although of course they would not normally inhabit that environment.

She felt the picture represented people who don't normally meet. But perhaps they might in special circumstances. She felt three strands stood out amongst these intertwined roots, someone with growing faith, someone with no faith, and the Father. Jody imagined the roots of the tree were like an umbilical cord with three strands in it.

Jim saw that Rachael needs to be encouraged and should be expectant.

Jody described a sunset she had seen recently. There was a line of bright light between heavy cloud above and the dark world below. The Lord is in the middle, he is the Light.

Glenn spoke about a 24 hour cycle of light and dark, he saw someone cowering down at night. But even the darkness is like light to the Lord.

Rachael had a sense that now is the time. He wants to deal with us now - not in our past, not in our future, but right now in this moment.

And I thought how appropriate it is that Yahweh told Moses that his name is 'I AM'. He is our light now, he doesn't deal with us in terms of our past or our future because he is I AM, he is our 'light in the middle'.

< 22nd November 2011 | Index | 5th December 2011 >

14 November 2011

Brampton - Light and dark

< 7th November 2011 | Index | 21st November 2011 >

This week the Spirit led us on the topic of darkness and light. He showed us that darkness is the same as hiddenness, that our artificial light is no substitute for his real light, and that he himself is the Light. It was (ahem...) very illuminating.

Light shining in the darkness
We thought about the darkness that surrounds the Most High (see Exodus 20:21 and Psalm 97:2) .

The words darkness and hiddenness are distinct in modern English, but darkness once held both meanings. We talk about the 'dark side of the Moon', an old expression for the hidden side that never faces Earth.

The implication is that the Almighty is hidden from us. Jesus spoke in parables so that the truth would be hidden and revelation is required to grasp it. Otherwise we might take the credit for our understanding.

Another aspect is that light and darkness are the same to him (Psalm 139:11-13). Everything is revealed to him, nothing can be hidden.

I saw a pathway but instead of flowers along either side there were tiny lights in different colours waving gently back and forth. They looked like the optical fibre lights you can buy, hemispheres of  brightly lit cut ends. I had no idea what this meant.

Sean mentioned that 'the people who dwell in darkness have seen a great light' (Isaiah 9:1-3,  quoted in Matthew 4:15-17). The 'Great Light' is Jesus of course, so the question is 'Do we see Jesus?' He explained that in complete darkness it's easy to see tiny, little lights. But those little lights don't speak of a great and mighty light and are just distractions in our lives.

We need to see your light, Lord. The rest is distraction. We prayed to be overwhelmed by his light - the light of Jesus.

I remembered using plant growth cabinets at Long Ashton in the 1970s and 80s. The artificial light in the cabinets was not as bright as sunshine, it was more like a cloudy day. But even to generate this level of light was expensive on energy and required water cooling. To be as bright as Christ we'd need a new kind of light. Our best efforts don't come close!

Darkness can't banish or remove light. But even a little light can banish darkness and where there is perfect light there can be no darkness at all. I read 2 Samuel 22:26-32.

Then Sean spoke about Israel dwelling in tents and following God. Our work is to believe in him, and so was theirs. He provided manna daily. We need that relationship with him because when we provide for ourselves by our own labour it all goes horribly wrong.

How can we be relying on him when we live in brick buildings that we have made for ourselves? We can't pick up our houses and move! We need to be like Israel - living in tents. In his mercy he works within the constraints we put on him but this is far from his best for us.

I read Isaiah 11:1-11 which shows us that all the rules will change. What we think we know will turn out to be false. Everything will change. The lion will lie down with the Lamb.

And then Sean finished by saying that trying to do it ourselves is worse than useless. It is actually doing what Adam did, effectively telling God: 'I don't need you. I can do it myself.'

< 7th November 2011 | Index | 21st November 2011 >

14 June 2010

THOUGHT - See, hear, touch

Sean and I agreed to read and discuss 1 John 1 at our MRT meeting last Friday. Early fragment of John's Gospel

As I read John's words this morning and thought about them I made some brief notes. I'd like to share them more widely, here they are...

This chapter is expressed in a way that is very black and white - or should I write 'dark and bright'! As in his gospel, John writes about mysteries but describes them in a very clear and logical way. There's no arguing with him because he makes his case point by point, carefully and thoroughly. He states the undeniable and then draws an inescapable conclusion - again and again!

Yahshua is light and there's no darkness in him, none at all. If we are walking with him then we are in the light. If we're in the dark in any way, we are not walking with him. You just can't argue with that!

Claiming freedom from sin logically requires Father to be a liar so we can forget that idea right away! But it we confess he forgives us. The entire good news is here in this first chapter.

And how did John know all this? He'd seen, heard, and even touched the Life himself! What a privilege that would be, I can hardly imagine it. And yet that life was so ordinary that many others had looked and seen a builder from back-of-beyond Natzeret in way-up-north Galilee, they had heard a false prophet, and they had no interest in touching him.

I love the progression in John's opening words. First seeing the Life (something you can do from a distance just by noticing), then hearing him (for that you need to come close and pay atttention), and finally touching (truly making contact with the Life himself, embracing him fully).

For John seeing happened on his father's fishing boat as Yahshua walked along the pebbly shore. Hearing required leaving the boat and coming closer, then following him wherever he went and paying attention. Touching him included leaning against him at the last meal before his death. Seeing, hearing and touching are the steps we all take as we experience more and more of his presence in our own lives.

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