Ah, a sermon that really causes us to examine our own hearts and lives.
Yesterday, our pastor shared that he has been really wrestling lately with a tension that exists in our world. As he was flipping channels the other night, he first came across a picture of a famished child on a commercial asking for donations. A few channels away, on a home shopping network, a salesperson was attempting to convince consumers that they needed another snazzy diamond ring.
Thus, he said, is the tension. At one extreme, we can bury our heads in the sand and pretend (or continue in ignorance) that we don't know the needs of the world. At the other end, we can become so overwhelmed by the need and pain that we become depressed. What we need to learn, our pastor encouraged, is how to live in the tension.
His Scripture reference came from Isaiah 58:1-12, a portion of which follows.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness (my emphasis--this is beautiful!), and your night will become like the noonday." (v. 9b-10)
Father, make us mindful of the needs of others. And don't just let us see the need, let us see what we can do to help meet that need--so that our light--Your light--will rise in the darkness.