"The world is full of people swimming in the dark, unwilling to surface to see the moon’s light (the scriptures) and find out where they are."
[This sermon is one of a series entitled “Sermon on the Mount, Concentrating on the Beatitudes,” which is being preached on Sunday mornings by Pastor Tim Senter.]
Father’s Day for me was a glorious day. I pray each of you were able to enjoy the day as I did. I know many of you enjoyed our picnic at the park. Today, in our sanctuary, we return to our study in the Sermon on the Mount.
The last time we talked about this passage, we discussed how the light that we see works, how light displays the many facets of God and His people. We considered how our testimonies are seen in the light that is God, and the light that God created. There is much more to learn in that study, but we will save that for a future time and another discussion concerning light.
Today we look specifically at the light that is the Christian. This light is developed in the Christian as the attributes described in the Beatitudes grow into characteristics and behaviors that begin to mark this life. This new life in Christ changes and begins to take shape. Christianity, though not about behavior, results in behavior as a testimony to Christ within.
Once again, we look at the passage in Matthew 5:14-16, and consider the light of the world that is the Christian. We will consider the beacon on the hill. We will also look at the light on the lamp stand that others strenuously attempt to cover and hide.
There are a few periods in history that are considered times of enhanced knowledge and understanding. They are referred to in terms of light–specifically, enlightenment. One such period took place in the 15th through the 16th centuries at the close of the Dark Ages. During the Dark Ages, there was little thought of teaching, gaining knowledge, learning, or educational prowess. This was a time of pure existence. Man forgot much of God and who He is and focused upon what he thought was life. Though there was still much war and quest for land and empire building, we find a number of attempts at learning in the 1400’s. Portuguese ships set sail and mapped West Africa. Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, and the first voyage from Europe to India and back took place from 1497-1499. In the 16th century, more explorations took man from Europe into Brazil. Interests in the arts were renewed as Leonardo da Vinci painted, Michelangelo sculpted, and Machiavelli wrote. Martin Luther planted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
There is a period that actually bears the name, “Age of Enlightenment,” the dates of which seem somewhat debatable. It began in the early-to-mid-17th century and ended in the early 18th century. This period was labeled because of the impact on study and concentrated efforts in human rationalization that had great moral, social, and political impact. This period developed self-governance, personal rights, and considerations of law that dominate our society today. Liberty, freedom, and reason were the mainstay instruction for this period. No longer was the King always right, and he was no longer a deity. Faith in Monarchism, oligarchicism, and aristocracy were slowly eroded during this period. It is interesting that as we fall deeper into governmental dependence, we place ourselves further into an oligarchy – we submit ourselves more and more willingly to the supposed elite. That is another discussion. Continue reading