From the Bishop
Light of the World
Jack leaping up from the ‘baptismal waters' of the Derwent River; Bethany, Mitch, Anna, Stuart, Jo and many more Tasmanians who said ‘Yes!' to Jesus in 2011.
This has brought me great joy.
God has brought you out of darkness
into his marvellous light.
Shine as a light in the world to
the glory of God the Father.
This affirmation from the baptism service assures us of the new state of the Christian: those who have turned to Jesus, trusted in him and have moved from darkness into Jesus' light.
I recall the challenge of Dennis, my former tutor in economics, who led me to Jesus. We had been talking about John 1:9-12, verses close to the heart of the Advent season and Christmas,
(Jesus) The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. ... He came to that which was his own, but his own did not accept him. Yet to all who received him ... he gave power to become children of God.
Dennis placed his Bible on his knee and asked me, ‘Have you received this Bible?'
I answered, ‘No'.
‘What do you need to do to receive it?'
‘I need to reach out and take hold of it.'
‘What then to you need to do to receive Jesus?'
‘I need to reach out and take hold of him and receive him into my life.'
‘Will you do it?'
‘Yes, I will.'
How the angels rejoice with God's people when we turn from darkness to light; to Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
... Christ is the genuine light. He is the light that brings real illumination to men/people. There is nothing unreal or shadowy about the light which is Christ. (Leon Morris)
Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, calls us to shine his light in the world.
How do we shine? What does it mean to shine?
‘Shining' has to do with faith, the act of receiving/trusting in Jesus.
Shining has to do with the power of being a child of God, which means faith in action, love, mercy and justice.
I think of a woman waiting in the medical room and listening attentively to the pain of a young mother. This concern led to the young mother coming along to a playgroup, receiving acceptance and support, and sometime later participating in worshipping the Light of the World.
Shining as a light in the world, faith in action, is so often simply our ‘being with, attending to' our neighbour.
This Christmas, shine Jesus' light into our community.
Christmas blessings, Tasmania!
Bishop of Tasmania
Bishop John's blog is regularly updated.