Seeing in the Dark

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Seeing in the Dark
Text: Luke 6:20-28
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Light, Focus
Author: Brian M


You can be blessed and at peace in this world if you let go and let God lead you.

How to Get There

This is a much larger idea base than I prefer to give but shortening such an important passage is very difficult. This message is based on a partcular interpretation of the Beatitudes, influenced am I sure to some extent by "The Divine Conspiracy" and "The Lost Message of Jesus."

  • This is a very dark, confusing, and sometimes evil world. We spend most of our lives trying to figure out how to navigate through it, what is right and wrong, and how to measure our lives against others. How can we be blessed? What does it take to find happiness and a way through this life that works?
  • In Jesus’ day everyone thought the rules were very simple. If you had money, a job, family, respect, then you were obviously assumed to be blessed by God.
  • And if you lacked any of this, there was no way you could be blessed, or find your way in life.
  • They measured their lives by what they had, and the assumption was that everything they had came from God and so could guide their lives. They focused so much on what they had to save them that they couldn’t see God at work in other areas.
  • They let their stuff guide them. Sounds like today. We see people spending all their energy to be wealthy, powerful, well-liked, because we think that these things make our lives easier, guide our lives, or even prove that God loves us and we’re blessed. At least that one area of our lives is taken care of, and that makes the rest better somehow.
  • But Jesus says something different (Beatitudes).
    • Everything gets thrown on its head. Woe to us when we’re too popular. Woe to us when we’re rich, and the people truly blessed are those that society says can’t be at all blessed, that are lost.
    • Jesus was speaking this to actual people in an actual crowd. And everyone that the world said were failures and cursed, Jesus calls them blessed.
  • This blessing is an internal happiness and joy deep inside. Why are they blessed? They have nothing.
  • They are blessed because they are not relying on themselves to lead them safely through the world, they have nothing to rely on. They could see God at work in the dark world because they lived in that darkness. They could be a part of what God was doing.
  • Being at peace is not about our circumstances. Instead, it has everything to do with that we are saved and part of God’s kingdom.
  • Jesus was saying to people who never thought they could make a way in this world that there is another way of looking at life that doesn’t take money, or power, or anything that this world says we need to make it through.
    • They too can be happy and at peace. You too can be happy and at peace.
    • The poor, ugly, hated, and broken can be in, and the rich can certainly be out.
  • And to those who think they have a way to get through life, they are in danger of missing out. Another word for “woe” might be “pity.” Beware, those of you who have something to rely on other than God because it can mean you will miss God at work by focusing so much on your little area of power in this world.
  • Pity on you who throw your energy into what little you can see and control around you, because you’re missing out on God and real blessing.
  • Our focus cannot be on what we can do, but what God can do in us and through us.
  • When we rely on anything to get us through life other than God we are in trouble. The Beatitudes give us a glimpse of God’s priorities and how God views the world. We can’t adjust our eyes to the world and our own guidance, but to God’s sight. With God’s sight of the world, we can be at peace.

Things to Watch For

Flashlights were used in the original message because a flashlight shows a narrow focus of viewing, and everything in that focus seems brighter, but the rest of the world grows darker because our eyes adjust to that tiny view of light. Often, flashlights really just give us a false sense of light because we forget we are really in the dark, we think we can see more than we actually can. If we turn off those flashlights, or eyes adjust and we4 can often see quite clearly.

This is a paraphrase of the passage written for this message.

You can be at peace when you don’t have anything people use to lead themselves, 
because you can see God’s big picture spread out before you.
You can be at peace when you are starving because you see what is waiting for you.
You can be at peace in the middle of your worst day, because you see the coming joy. 
You can be at peace when everyone hates you, when they kick you out of their groups, 
when they think you’re weird and call you names because you’re not using a flashlight and playing by their rules. 
Instead, you are seeing the world through Jesus’ eyes. 
Rejoice, party when that happens because you can see what they cannot. 
This is exactly like what has always happened to God’s people.
But if you’re still leading yourself with wealth I pity you, because you’ve gotten your time in your own spotlight. 
I pity you if you’re being led by the light of your physical needs, you won’t find your way.
I pity you if you’re relying on your popularity and how great things are right now. 
You have no idea where you’re going and are on the wrong path without even knowing it, like so many before you.
If you are listening, hear this. See the world through God’s eyes. 
Love your enemies and look out for those who hate that you’re not using a flashlight. 
Be joyful with those who can’t stand you, and pray for those who hurt you.

Other Ideas that use this Topic:

Four Candles.JPG4 candles in the darkImage
Leslie Gulch 3.jpgThe mountains near Leslie Gulch in sunlightImage
Single Candle.JPGA single candle in the darkImage

This Message is part 9 of Luke: Advent to Easter message series.