Message from the Pastor
Rev Edward Evans:
1 January 2019
The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light. Those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light has shined.
Isaiah 9 vs 2
As we come to the end of one year and approach the new year we have much to give thanks for.
As the psalmist says in psalm 23 "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." And that promise holds fast for God's people whatever the future might hold. We can trust in His Mercy and Trust in His faithfulness to uphold us through thick and thin.
When Isaiah spoke of the coming of a great light he was of course speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ whose coming into this world has brought to us the knowledge of God's Forgiveness, Mercy and Love.
John's gospel tells us more specifically that the light that Jesus brings is the light of life, for it is through our repenting of our sins and turning in trust to Christ as the Saviour that He freely offers to us the gracious gift of eternal life.
A film that was released two years ago called" the current war" charted the rise of two nineteenth century inventors, Thomas Edison and Nicolas Tesla, competing to power and light up America and the western world.
I suspect that most people have heard of the first inventor but far less the second, although Tesla was in many ways a more brilliant innovator far ahead of his time. Edison was credited with developing the first incandescent light bulb but both men had a vision to provide lighting that was not dependant upon either oil or gas for its energy. However it was Edison that patented the first commercially viable light bulb using carbonised bamboo as a filament inside the ;bulb.Today we take it for granted that we can light up our homes at the flick of a switch but just over a hundred years ago the concept seemed almost magical.
The light however that Isaiah saw Jesus bringing into this world was no mere natural light but a spiritual and moral light that would lighten the darkness of men's hearts in their ignorance of God and alienation from Him.
Later in this same chapter of Isaiah's prophecy we read: "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
In history Kings, when they ascended to the throne, were given enthronement titles or names like the ancient Persian kings who referred to themselves as "The great king" or the Roman general Pompey who was called "The great".
Jesus also has been given four enthronement titles by God the Father because as the Son of God He is also God's appointed ruler and King over all things.
"Wonderful counsellor" : how many people look for the answer to life problems turning to human counsellors or self help literature but there is only One who can lead us safely and wisely through this present world and into eternity, Jesus Christ.
But counsel alone is not enough, we also need the power to change and be changed and so as Mighty God, Christ Jesus possesses all of the power and saving virtue to change a stony unbelieving heart into a heart of flesh.
Everlasting Father tells us that He, as God's Son, is from everlasting and came to bring us eternal life. And Prince of Peace speaks of His great mission when he came into this world to reconcile men to God and bring to us an abundance of God's peace.
As we look out upon our world going into this new year, we see a world with very little peace and a world with much darkness in it. But let us never forget that the great light that entered into this world 2000 years ago is still shining brightly, shining through the preaching of the gospel and the hope that it brings, shining through the lives of those who have come to know this One Isaiah wrote of, this wonderful counsellor Mighty God Everlasting Father this prince of peace.
May our desire and prayer for this new year be that others who do not know the Lord may come to see more of Him and less of us as He lives and reigns through our lives day by day.