Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2019 Malachi 4:2.

Malachi 4:2.    ​But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).
 

It’s sunshine…It’s sunshine…! Yes friends and Scrip-Bit family, the sun’s shining high and bright in a clear blue sky at 8 o’clock this Wednesday morning! Glory be! And I guess it’s already so high because of the Daylight Saving’s Time change we had over the weekend, where the clocks were rolled back one hour. I don’t know why they don’t stop the foolishness nuh, because nobody likes it. There are always complaints, especially about screwed up sleep patterns, and you have to readjust all your time situations. And I really don’t know who it benefits either nuh. 

Now we’re five hours behind Europe, when last week we were four; possibly the same time as Trinidad and Tobago now, but and hour or something behind Jamaica… It just screws up everything, even between the provinces of Canada! What’s wrong with staying with ONE time eh? Not many other countries engage in the nonsense. But unless we make an unholy stink about it, the powers that be won’t see fit to change it.

However, the beauty of the situation is that whatever time line we use, or whatever the weather might be, we still have the awesome presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour constantly dwelling within us through the auspices of the Holy Ghost! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful ‘Wow!’ 

Yeh friends, when we consider how marvellous that situation is, the only word that can sometimes come to mind is ‘Wow!’ That’s because its ‘marvellousness’ transcends the capacity of our mortal minds. (smile) But it all ties in miraculously with Jehovah’s plan for His people; re His Messiah, His Saviour coming to save them from eternal damnation. Hear how the prophet Malachi puts it: ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves).’ Oh my people, no uncertain foraging for food for the Lord’s people because ‘the Sun of righteousness,’ the figurative description of Jesus Christ, our Messiah shall come and heal and feed and comfort us. Glory Hallelujah! 

And that promise wasn’t new to the Israelites at that time, because Isaiah had already promised long before: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ (Is. 9:2) And that prophecy was built upon by John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, when he declared at John’s birth: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 2:76-79). 

And the scholars explain that passage thus: ‘1:78. Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is, the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ And so it should be because it brought out us of the darkness of sin into the light of God’s LOVE! And what I admire about God’s Word is that He left no empty spaces in it, meaning that each prophecy was rolled right into another one that led the story forth. 

For just as Zechariah prophesied that his son, John the Baptist would be a forerunner of the Messiah, the Good Book tells us: ‘In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ (Matt. 3:1-3) So even Isaiah had prophesied about John’s role in the coming of Jesus. (Is .40:3) 

And it was all corroborated in John the disciple’s gospel: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (the Baptist). The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right) to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name. which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made (became) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.’ (John 1:6-14) 

Oh my people, what a life-saving and light emitting event the coming of Jesus was! It made God’s salvation universally available to all who believed in His Son, Jesus Christ. Gave them the authority to become children of God! Glory Hallelujah! The sad part though is that people in general, and in particular, His own people, the Jews, rejected him. But mih bredden, yuh see the Lord’s faithfulness. After promising the Messiah, the Saviour of His people, down through the ages, He finally fulfilled it by the coming of Jesus! Please let us never deny His everlasting faithfulness, or that of the Good Book, His Holy Word. It will just happen in His own time.

And for all of us who have accepted the Light of the World as our own, let’s go home telling all and sundry our wonderful position in His marvellous union. As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And as always, we can’t help rejoicing when we consider how truly great and glorious that future will be…more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…the light shines in the darkness…and the darkness repels it not…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2018 Isaiah 9:2.

Isaiah 9:2.   The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
 
And then it was Sunday…Christmas Sunday…Yay! Just imagine friends, only two more days and it’s here; one of the biggest and best days ever in the history of mankind; the day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give the Father much thanks and praise for sending His only Son as a human to dwell amongst us and show us His holy ways! 

And as always, when we gather in His sanctuary on a Sunday we open with praise and worship, exalting His name and softening our hearts so that we can receive His holy Word. And today we’re singing that magnificent and well-known, traditional Christmas hymn, ‘Silent Night’ (“Stille Nacht” in its original German). 

‘The song was originally a poem written by pastor Joseph Franz Mohr and composed by his friend Franz Xaver Gruber in early 19th century Austria. Pastor Mohr desperately needed a carol for the Christmas Eve midnight mass that was only hours away, and he hoped Gruber – a school teacher as well as the church’s choir master and organist – could set his poem to music; he composed the melody in just a few hours on that Christmas Eve. 

The melody used today (a slow, meditative lullaby or pastorale) is slightly different from Gruber’s original (a moderato tune in 6/8 time and siciliana rhythm), particularly in the final strain. The English translation we most frequently sing today was written and published by Episcopal priest John Freeman Young in 1859, who translated three verses of Mohr’s original six.’ 

So now that we know something about the song’s origins, let’s sing it with heartfelt praise and gratitude nuh. As one earthly choir now! ‘Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born! 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, LOVE’S pure light; Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, our Saviour’s birth changed the world like nothing before it ever has! As the prophet Isaiah declared long before it happened: ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ 

Yes my people, Christ’s birth brought the light of heaven to earth where many were living in darkness and evil. And unfortunately, two thousand years later, too many of us are still living in darkness and evil! 

And Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, when he had regained his voice, after being struck dumb for not believing the angel Gabriel’s promise of a son in his old age, (Luke 1:11-20) also spoke of God’s redemption of His people, on the day that John was presented to the Lord. 

‘And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (a Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.’ (Luke 1:67-75) 

Yeh friends, please note those provisos: ‘serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.’ God’s promises weren’t any fly by night stuff; they had a definite purpose behind them!

And if you don’t believe, then the scholars point us to ‘1:73: See Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-6; 22:15-18).’ Yes friends, that’s a list of the promises God made to Abraham, every one of which He kept! Please check them out for yourselves. I just did! 

But Zechariah was not done with prophesying. Having spoken of Jesus, he turned to his son, John: ‘And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring (Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:76-79) 

That’s why John is known as the forerunner of Christ; he was sent to prepare the way for Christ’s coming. And the scholars give an interesting explanation of ‘1:78: Dayspring means “dawn” and figuratively refers to the coming of the Messiah. The clause should be translated, “Dawn from heaven will visit us.” That is the Messiah from heaven will come to help us. God’s messianic deliverance is often expressed as the bursting forth of a great light.’ 

Ah mih people, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Christ’s birth, please, please let’s allow that great light to burst forth in our lives nuh, so that we can be delivered out of all the darkness that currently covers us! Much LOVE!

…for with thee is the fountain of life…in thy light…shall we see light… (Ps.36:9)  

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, but I had to go to church first…And anyway, it’s still enlightening! (smile) Much LOVE!