Sun 21st March: “Let There Be Light” To Pay Thy Morning .


Sun 21st March: “Let There Be Light”To pay thy morning sacrifice.CCLI 169737Streaming Licence 595811By influence of the light divine,Let thy own light to others shine,Reflect all heaven’s propitious rays,In ardent love, and cheerful praise.Introduction:Today we are going to explore a thoughtexperiment. The Bible describes Jesus interms of light. The biggest lightbulb Iknow of is the sun in the sky for everyoneto feel and see.So, if Jesus is the light of the world, whyis it that many have trouble seeing him?Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,And with the angels bear thy part,Who all night long unwearied singHigh praise to the eternal King.Lord, I my vows to Thee renew,Disperse my sins as Morning dew,Guard my first springs of Thought andWill,And with Thy self my spirit fill.Direct, control, suggest, this day,All I design, or do, or say,That all my Powers with all their might,In Thy sole Glory may unite.Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,Praise Him all Creatures here below,Praise Him above ye Heavenly Host,Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.Thomas Ken (1633-1711)Prayer of ApproachCall to Worship:Light shines from the darknessIts rays fall on the landscapeLighting up fields, trees, buildings andtownsThe light falls on our loved onesHighlighting their faces and warm smiles.We look up at the night skyUnder the starry canopy we can findourselvesFeeling small and insignificantBut as we rise to face a new day,So we gather ourselves together beforeyou, Lord Jesus ChristReady for worship and service.As members of your body,Let us come together as oneTo worship our Lord.Amen.Light shines from the darknessImprinting on our souls the beauty of theworld around.It is enough to bring a smile to our faceAnd make us thankful to God.But sometimes we find ourselves residingin dark placesPlaces where the sunshine doesn’t seemto quite reach.We can lose hope of seeing the good inlifeAnd forgetful that the sun will rise to start anew day.Will we appreciate the warmth of its rays?Hymn: Awake, My Soul, and with thesun / thy daily stage of duty runAwake, my soul, and with the sunThy daily stage of duty run;Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise1

Both brown dwarfs were discovered bytelescopes that view stars in the infra-red.Infra-red is part of the vast rangefrequencies of electromagnetic spectrumWill we again rejoice in the multi-colouredtapestry of the countryside?So we come to the LordThe Lord of Light who created the starsConfessing that, in our imaginations,We sometimes only see the world in grey.Creator God, we ask for your inspiration.We need the joy of the Lord.Thank you, LordThat you freely put your light in the lives ofour families,Our communities, and ourselves.Amen.beyond human vision. Your transistorradio and microwave oven are on thisspectrum (above). Natural light is a smallslither of this spectrum. Withoutdetectors, most of this “light” wouldremain unseen.Reflection #1:Let’s talk about light. Our world isilluminated by our nearest star, the Sun.The next nearest star is the red dwarf starcalled Proxima Centauri, which is part ofthe Alpha Centauri system of three stars.Beyond that is another red dwarf Barnard’s Star - and two brown dwarfscalled WISE 1049 and WISE 0855.My opening question was: “If Jesus is thelight of the world, why is it that many havetrouble seeing him?” What has all of thisgot to do with my opening question?More of all this shortly.Hymn: O Timeless and UntrammelledWordSung to the tune of “Greensleeves”.Written by John Cambell 2016 Kevin Mayhew LtdO timeless and untrammelled Word,God’s joy, God’s very essenceFirst, by your plan, all things began You spoke and broke the silence.Yet, now, you’ve entered time,Constrained, like us, within its rhyme,Embraced its sweat and grime,The Word made flesh among us!Brown dwarfs are “failed” stars thereforenot luminous enough to be detected bytelescopes that view in natural light. Theyare typically larger than the gas giants,but smaller then stars and lack the fuel toreach nuclear fusion – the essentialnuclear furnace of all stars.O holy and most heavenly Word,With God’s own glory shining,Your truth and grace unveil the faceOf God’s own inmost being.Yet, frail like us you cameAnd lived and died in human frame;Shared pain with sick and lame The Word made flesh amongst us!Both brown dwarfs weren’t hot enough orbright enough to be detected by normaltelescopes. Instead, they discovered bytelescopes that view stars in the infra-red.O living and empowered Word,God’s light, beyond all other,Exposing wrong throughout time’s song,2

God’s sun ablaze forever.Yet, you our dark embraced,Eclipsed by sin, our failure faced,Dying, death’s darkness chased,The Word made flesh amongst us!French architect Paul Bellot and isconstructed of this wonderful red brick.I visited the Abbey (below) to do somefilming hoping to capture the glory of thisbrickwork on film.Scripture Reading: John 1.1-5 and 9-14.In the beginning was the Word, and theWord was with God, and the Word wasGod. 2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things came into being through him,and without him not one thing came intobeing. What has come into being 4 in himwas life, and the life was the light of allpeople. 5 The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness did not overcome it.9 The true light, which enlightenseveryone, was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and the worldcame into being through him; yet theworld did not know him. 11 He came towhat was his own, and his own peopledid not accept him. 12 But to all whoreceived him, who believed in his name,he gave power to become children ofGod, 13 who were born, not of blood or ofthe will of the flesh or of the will of man,but of God.On the way down I rode through the newlyopened Hindhead Tunnel on the A3(below). I enjoyed the way that, with bothtunnel and monastery, the light reflectedand danced on the different surfaces.Hindhead Tunnel opened in 2011 takingthe A3 safely below the Devils’Punchbowl, a 280- hectare site ofscientific special interest in Surrey.14 And the Word became flesh and livedamong us, and we have seen his glory,the glory as of a father’s only son, full ofgrace and truth.Reflection #2A short devotional video accompanies thisreflection which features in the onlineversion of this service.You may think that tunnel and monasteryare a bit of an odd combination. I spentsome days agonising exactly how to bringthe two together. I found that the firstchapter of John’s Gospel, with its themeof light, brought the two together.However, when put the video onYouTube, I received a few complaints thatthere was too much filming in the tunnel.Less tunnel, more Abbey please!I started by asking the question “If Jesusis the light of the world, why is it thatmany have trouble seeing him? Let’s startwith a thought experiment.A number of years ago I took amotorcycle ride to visit Quarr Abbey.Quarr Abbey is a monastery housing asmall group of Benedictine monks on theIsle of Wight. The abbey was designed by3

Let’s be honest - the A3 and Quarr Abbeymake strange bedfellows. The plain andordinary seems to grind against thebeauty and, dare I say, spiritualityexpressed in the architecture of theBenedictine Monastery.of light that we cannot see with thehuman eye. That’s why we have infra-red,Xray and radio astronomy opening up theheavens in ways that the human eyecould never see. Most forms of light arebeyond the range of human vision.This is the twist: God’s light is beyondhuman perception. If it exists, as the Bibleand Christian tradition witnesses, it seemsto be beyond our detection. As John 1.5says, in a more correct translation: “Thelight shines in the dark, and the darknesshas not understood it.” We aresurrounded by a form of light that we areunable to see, yet alone comprehend. Weare in the dark.However, there is a key verse in the Biblewhich helps us to unlock this further. Inthe Letter to the Ephesians, St Paulfamously prayed:“I pray that the God of our Lord JesusChrist, the Father of glory, may give you aspirit of wisdom and revelation as youcome to know him, so that, with the eyesof your heart enlightened, you mayknow what is the hope to which he hascalled you ” (Eph 1.16-18).At one point in the film, I tried to focus onan icon of Jesus Christ. The picture wasblurred - going in and out of focus. Andthis is the point. Here is Jesus, bothhuman and divine, existing between thetwo realities of earth and heaven. Thedown-to-earth of mundane, run-of-themill, everyday human existencejuxtaposed against the grandeur ofheaven. The two do not naturally mix. Thisduel-existing life seems blurred to us. Forexample, can you comfortably imagine apicture of Jesus Christ sitting in atransport cafe on the A3?It is interesting that this verse mentions“eyes of the heart” rather than just “eyes”.Our eyes can see objects. It is in ourhearts where we can truly know the love ofsomeone and return that love inrelationship. God opens our hearts so thatwe can know his love, and to return thatlove in worship.Our hearts (and minds), which normallyare “blind” towards God, and have to gothrough a process of readjustment toperceive God’s light. This “recalibrating” isa thing of mystery, but something that is aministry of the Holy Spirit. But may wewelcome this transformation in our lives.Sometimes we only focus on the divineaspect of Christ. Others struggle to seethis side, and only see him in humanterms. They can’t see his divine light. Whyis this?May God open the eyes of our hearts allthe more.May we see his love and ministry amongour communities all the more.May he open the eyes of many people forthe first time. AmenPlease return with me to our earlier pointof infra-red light. Infra-red is one example4

We pray for national and local leadership,agencies and staffBattling the pandemic, caring for the sick,and rolling out the vaccine in ourcommunities.Help us to carry your light.May we all know of the light of JesusChristBurning in the darkness.Often misunderstoodBringing comfort, hope and light.Amen.Hymn 117: How Great Thou ArtO Lord my God, When I in awesomewonder,Consider all the worlds Thy Hands havemade;I see the stars, I hear mighty thunder,Thy power throughout the universedisplayed.Prayers of Intercession:Please respond where indicated with:Help us to carry your light.Open the eyes of our hearts, LordHelp us to see your light and to carry it outinto our communities.Help us to carry your light.Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, toThee,How great Thou art, How great Thou art.Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, toThee,How great Thou art, How great Thou art!Nurture and protect the ember of our faith,kept alive by the breath of the Holy SpiritHelp us to carry your light.May we carry the light of Jesus to ourfamily, friends and community around us.Help us to carry your light.When through the woods, and forestglades I wander,And hear the birds sing sweetly in thetrees.When I look down, from lofty mountaingrandeurAnd see the brook, and feel the gentlebreeze.May we be able to carry your light to darkplacesBringing hope and and renewalHelp us to carry your light.We pray for our national government andall political parties.Help them to find a way forward whichbrings justice to all.Help us to carry your light.Then sings my soul But when I think, that God, His Son notsparing;Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;That on the Cross, my burden gladlybearing,He bled and died to take away my sin.We pray for those who are in vulnerablehousing or are homeless.We pray that they may find shelter andsupport among the agencies that comealongside them.Help us to carry your light.5

Then sings my soul The Aaronic Blessing:When Christ shall come, with shout ofacclamation,And take me home, what joy shall fill myheart.Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,And then proclaim: "My God, how greatThou art!"May the LORD bless you and keep you;May the LORD make his face to shineupon you and be gracious to you;May the LORD lift up his countenanceupon you and give you peace.Amen.Then sings my soul Russian hymnTranslated by Stuart K Hine(1899-1989)6

Sun 21st March: “Let There Be Light” CCLI 169737 Streaming Licence 595811 Introduction: Today we are going to explore a thought experiment. Wake, and The Bible describes Jesus in terms of light. The biggest lightbulb I know of is the sun in the sky for everyone to feel and see. So,