Damariscotta Baptist Church
Monday, September 24, 2018
Growing personal relationships with God and community

12/6/15 - Let Your Light Shine

Mini-Message #2: “Let Your Light Shine”

Luke 3:1-6

Here we go again with the names of Middle Eastern rulers, that are difficult for us to pronounce and evoke no emotion because they simply represent historical figures to us. Yet, for those who were living under those men, it would have been an entirely different experience to hear someone read that particular list. If Luke were to be writing his book today his list may have read something like this:

“It was the year 2015, during the Presidency of Benjamin Netanyahu, when the Ultra Orthodox controlled the Knesset in Israel, and Bashir Assad ruled in Syria; the King Faisal controlled the House of Saud, Hamas had power in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt: Mohammar Khadafi ruled in Libya. And the Great Powers: Vladamir Putin of Russia and Barack Obama; like a series of United States Presidents, supplied them all with foreign aid and weapons.” (taken from “Bloomingcactus” December 06, 2012, Luke 3:1-6 “I Wasn’t Prepared For This!”.)

Luke begins his introduction of John the Baptist, by naming all of the most important people in his day and age. The names that are written here are the “who’s who” of the first century. They are the Emperor, the governor, ruler, and high priest. There were no others who had more power or influence in the day of Jesus than this list of men. And yet, God did not choose anyone on that list to prepare the way for His own Son, to come amongst us. Luke reminds us that God chose, John the Baptist, an itinerant preacher, a literal “nobody”, doing his ministry in the wilderness, you know the place no one chooses to go, to lead the way towards Jesus.

In fact, Luke presents this particular theme throughout his book, of how God regularly chooses people whom the world sees as insignificant, yet God uses to do marvelous things.  Luke tells us about John the Baptist, a man who lives in a desert, wears animal skins and eats locusts and honey, and then there is Mary, the illiterate, unwed, teenager and also a group of no account shepherds, who were at the very bottom of the economic ladder, who serve as an audience for the heavenly choir.

Luke keeps reminding us, that God chooses people the world easily ignores to participate in world changing – world saving activities. In fact, the entire Bible has examples of those God chooses to fulfill His plan and their worldly status is not even considered. Instead, we read that God is seeking those individuals who are willing to give themselves fully to Him. This means using not only the talents and gifts God has given us to serve Him wherever we are, but also our weaknesses and struggles.

Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

When we recognize our weakness, and allow God’s grace to be sufficient, we discover God using us to fulfill His Glory. God is also eager to use talents and abilities and gifts to change the world, in even the smallest of ways. Remember God cares for the sparrows and He also cares for us. And one of the ways He cares for us is by using others to reach out and help.

How often have we experienced God at work through our relationships, jobs, family and civic life?

 

God is still in the habit of using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

As we prepare for the Lord’s Supper, I would like you to take 3 X 5 card and write down an activity of the past week that, when you think of it, God was using it to care for this world.

Then as we pass the offering plate for the Deacon’s Offering, I would like you to place it in the plate as an offering of thanksgiving, that you have recognized God working in your world.

It is my belief that each of us has the potential to be a local, “John the Baptist”, a veritable nobody, to whom the Word of the Lord came and through whom God prepared the way for the coming of Christ so that, indeed, all people might see and receive God’s salvation.

At this time we prepare to partake in the remembrance of that gift.