Jesus says, ďFor everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.Ē
In a church this size it is always possible to hide. You can come to church, smile and shake hands, ask about work, politics, the weather, and even comment on the sermon, all while nurturing your sins. Sins by nature want to remain hidden. They like the darkness, and they do not like the light. They do not like to be exposed by the light. Of course Jesus is the light of the world; he has come to expose sins, to bring them to the light, not because he wants to humiliate us, not because he wants to embarrass us in front of everyone but so he can heal us. So he can save us. The beginning of wisdom here is learning not to curl up into a ball when you come here and when you get together with other friends in the church community. The Church is the body of Christ, we are called upon to be Christ for one another. And this means we are called to be light to one another and for one another. This is not an exhortation to begin pointing out all your neighborsí sins. Donít be rude; donít be a crank. But at the same time, if someone is limping around, itís not rude to ask why theyíre limping. If someone has a black eye, itís not cranky to ask what happened. And if the response is that it is none of your business, and thereís nothing wrong, then there most certainly is something wrong, and itís worth pursuing with them or someone else who can. If you come here putting up defenses, if your conversations with friends are constantly defending yourself and justifying your scars and bruises, stop it. We come here for healing. We come here for grace. We gather here to be put under the light of Christ. We are a family, a community of people who know our need for grace and mercy. And if you come in here acting like youíre just fine, and you donít need any of that grace thank you very much, then you should probably find something better to do with your Sunday mornings. If you go to your doctor to be told how healthy and strong you are then you are wasting your time and money. We are here because we need grace, we need healing, we need the light to shine on our darkness. ďThose who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Jesus did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” If youíre already righteous then Jesus didnít come for you; go away. But if youíre broken and bruised, hurting and confused, if you have been beaten up by sin and abused by your own wicked heart and others, if you have burdens too difficult to bear, and scars too deep for words, then come and welcome. There is grace and mercy for you.