From Kay Meyer's column in the St. Louis Metro Voice newspaper from 1994 to 2013.
What are your favorite memories of light? Is it the flashlight that you turned off and on a camping trip with your family? Is it watching the light from a campfire as you sat and sang camp songs together? Is it going to see the Christmas lights with your family during the holidays? Is it catching and then letting go of lightning bugs on a warm summer evening? Or maybe it’s when you light a candle in your home to celebrate your baptism birthday or another special occasion?
God’s Word has a lot to say light and the light of the world Jesus Christ! Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
As we think about God’s word and the topic of light we remember that in the beginning God said, “Let there be light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day and the darkness night (Gen. 1:3).
What else does the Old Testament have to say about light? One story I like is Moses and the burning bush in Ex. 3: 1-12. Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, and came to the mountain of God. He saw that although the bush was on fire it did not burn up. He went to see why the bush didn’t burn up. There the Lord called to him, “Moses, Moses. Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals for the place you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have seen my people’s misery in Egypt. I have heard their cries, and I am concerned about their suffering. So, I have come down to rescue them. So now, go. I am sending you to bring my people out of Egypt.” Note that God used His people, in this case specifically, Moses, to accomplish His work.
Moses was a lot like you and me. Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Isrealites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask, What is His name? Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to them. I AM has sent me to you.” Finally Moses agrees to go.
Have you ever argued with God? In a small group or at the dinner table this evening talk about a time when you argued with God. What happened? Who won? What did you learn from this situation?
Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people. And Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights (Ex. 24:9-18). There he received the Ten Commandments from the Lord.
Do you remember what the people did when Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and nights? They worshipped other gods and made images of them out of gold.
Have you ever been tempted to do something that was against God’s word? What was it? Were you able to resist the temptation? If you didn’t resist, how did you obtain forgiveness? Thank God now for His forgiveness that is new every morning.
Moses anger burned when he came down the mountain and saw the people worshipping other gods. He threw the tablets of the Lord out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. Later Moses asked God to forgive the people’s sin (Ex. 32). God forgave them.
This story reminds me of playing Bible charades with my sixth grade Sunday school student many years ago. Six of my students went outside the classroom door to discuss what Bible story they were going to act out for the other students. A few minutes later they walked in, put five chairs into a circle and five of the students knelt down on the floor and acted like they were worshipping the center of the chairs. One student stood away near the door. He placed a chair about six feet from the circle of chairs. He stood on the chair, and looked down at the people who were kneeling. He looked angry as he watched them. Then he pretended to throw something down on the ground. The people looked up, saw him and looked afraid.
Of course, my creative students were acting out the story of Moses coming down the mountain with the Ten Commandments! Charades is a wonderful way to help students and adults comprehend Bible stories and help them apply the story to their daily life. After we acted out the story the students and I discussed why Moses was angry. We discussed the difference between righteous anger and sinful anger. We discussed what it means to worship other gods. And we discussed the forgiveness that is ours through Christ for all our sins. Then we prayed together asking God to forgive us.
Sometimes we have opportunities to share our faith in Christ with our children, grandchildren, and Sunday school students. And at other times God opens doors for us to share our faith as we build relationships with those in our communities.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has initiated The Ablaze Movement. This movement has a goal of reaching 100 million unreached and uncommitted people with the Gospel by 2017. This is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
The word “Ablaze” is taken from the story that occurred after the resurrection of Christ. You remember it. Some disciples walked with Christ to Emmaus after the resurrection. They were kept from recognizing Him for a time. Later when they ate a meal together Jesus broke bread. That was when they recognized Him. Afterward they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us (Luke 24: 13--32)?”
Do your hearts burn within you to share Christ with those who do not know Him? I pray that they do. If not, pray and ask the Lord to give you a heart that burns to reach the lost with the Gospel. Tell them about the light of the world—Jesus our Savior and Lord. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness (John 12:46).
By Kay L. Meyer and Kevin Meyer