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January 1st, 2012


The light of the world

First service of the year this morning:not so many there but some are away and the weather was horrible and then there was that preacher.....enough to put anybody off...(OK, before anyone bursts a blood vessel I wouldn't have made a comment like that if it had been anyone but me)

It's really strange how sometimes it is a struggle to find a subject to preach about, after all these years that's still true....but sometimes a subject simply cries out to be preached.
I remember in the early years,not sure I had done a sermon on my own though as a trainee I had had the experience of preaching a couple of times out with other preachers.(Usually in Methodism it would only be with one other preacher but I was a student and trained in both Hull and in Edinburgh so went out with more than one )

All I knew was that my text was to be "I am the light of the world" ...not sure how I knew but I did know and knew for certain...only problem was I only had th text.Read and studied and prayed ……I had my order of service …..but when it came to the sermon all I had was the text
“I am the light of the world” ….and nothing.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday , Friday came and went……I am the light of the world ….nothing
Saturday morning I struggled, and the afternoon and the evening came and still nothing
Do not worry about what you will have to say our Lord had told his followers but that was in extremis when the chips were down….I’d had this date for weeks…Midnight came and still nothing.
It wasn’t as if I had a great stock of sermons I could fall back on and preach something I had used before,
There was nothing there to use….
and in the small hours I walked out of the student house on the edge of Edinburgh to clear my brain….out onto the Braid Hills….whilst there were street lights everthing was fine and I walked along a road and turned aside down into a valley just as the sky was starting to brighten.

Aggasiz rock ….blue plaque

Barbed wire
Burned out car
Broken glass and flattened cans
Picnic litter and black smoke on the face of the Aggassiz rock

The light of the world showed me the wonders of God’s creation
The beauty of mosses and liverworts, of flowers of the forest floor of leaves breaking from their buds on the trees

The light of the world showed me what man had done in Gods’ world, and made me want to do something about it….

There was my sermon…..

Jesus comes still that we might learn of the glory of what God has done for us in his love, and to show us the things we need to change in this world that God made and declared to be Good.