Today in my Children's Sermon I am talking about lighthouses. I thought it was a pretty good concept so I figured I would share it with you guys first. You know....kind of a trial run. Does anyone recognize this picture? That’s right, it’s a lighthouse. Have any of you seen or visited a lighthouse? Up and down the coastlines by the ocean you will see these kinds of buildings. They come in different styles (show the pictures I’ve brought), but all lighthouses have one thing in common – the purpose or mission for which they are built.
What do you suppose lighthouses are meant to do? Having grown up near the ocean I know that the ocean can be a dangerous place. The waves, currents, tides, and rocky shores can be very dangerous for ships at the best of times. And in a storm, ships need to know exactly where the coastline is so they don’t crash into the rocks and sink.
I love lighthouses. I have since I was a child. My parents used to take me to see them on our little Saturday exploring jaunts. I actually wanted to be a lighthouse keeper when I was young. I have collected them over the years, at first just ones I had actually been to, but you know how that goes....when people see you have more than one of something they tend to give them to you as gifts and they lose their specialness. Today as I was working on my Children's Sermon for church I thought....why not use a lighthouse theme? I try and use a visual each week of something they can relate to and understand. We don't have many lighthouses in this area...we are landlocked....but I think they will get the point. You see Jesus taught us that those who follow him are like lighthouses. You and I have a mission to fulfill – to reflect the light of Jesus. What we do and say can help people see what’s dangerous and what’s safe. For example, being selfish and cruel and forgetting God’s commandments will hurt people and cause many problems for many people. Living like that is like a ship sailing in stormy seas.
Praying, worshiping, and showing kindness help us and others live good and God-pleasing lives. And we don’t do this only for friends or for people we like. Jesus asks us to love and care for all people – even our enemies. If we reflect the light of Christ, we are like lighthouses. We may not be perfect, but we can do our best to follow in Jesus’ way. Others can look at us to see how a righteous life can bring joy and peace to them, too. We have an important job to do, shining with the light of God’s love and working for a better world. Next time you see a lighthouse...remember that you are a lighthouse for the Word and Shine On!