This sermon was first delivered to the congregation at the Paradise United Methodist Church in Louisville, Ohio on February 11, 1979. Dad subsequently shared this message with seven other churches, including his home church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Youngstown, Ohio.
In the 5th chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, the 8th verse he advises them as follows:
“For ye were sometimes in the darkness, but now ye are in the light of the Lord: Walk as Children of Light.” He continues, “Wherefore he hath saith, ”Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.”
In the days when these words were written, darkness signified lack of knowledge, being lost, danger and a number of other sinister and unhealthful things. Whereas LIGHT denoted knowledge, a feeling of well being and in harmony with God and the teachings of Jesus.
St. Paul told the Ephesians to, “Walk as children of light…” to live as if they were made of living, moving energy-like light.
A few centuries ago we would have thought this to be some kind of fanciful idea. But now, thanks to modern day science, we know that this is really true. Scientists tell us our bodies are not composed of hard, solid matter, but of millions and millions of specks of energy. These bits of energy attract and repel each other causing tiny explosions of light. So, in a very real sense our bodies are composed of light.
The oldest story of creation tells us that God created light before He created the sun and the earth. Scholars of long ago said that this was impossible because there could have been no light before the sun was made.
But, today we know that light is a form of energy and that all created things are made of energy. St. Paul said, “Things that are seen are not made of things which appear!” What he meant was that this primal light vibrates at too high an intensity and too fine a wave length for the human eye to see. We can understand this. We can’t see the light of the X-ray machine, yet we know it is more powerful than sunlight.
God made first of all…LIGHT…and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the deep. These ancient Historians were trying to put into words something that even our modern term “inter-stellar space” does not adequately express.
So, we are not made of solid matter, but of living, moving energy. The very chemicals and minerals contained in our bodies…the dust of the earth…live by the very breath of God. Therefore it is not at all strange when we establish a closer connection with God in prayer, that we should receive more abundant life – an increasing flow of energy. The creative force that sustains us increased within our bodies as we remain in an attitude of prayer…sending and receiving messages from God, our creator.
The power that causes light to shine within the electric light bulb is part of the electric light. In fact, we can’t see this power, this force, but it is as much a part of the electric light as the filament and the glass which forms the framework of the electric light bulb.
The spiritual force…the light that flows through us is the “breath of God” breathed into the “dust of the earth” of which our bodies are made. Our bodies are comparable to the light bulb…it is God…the Eternal being dwelling in our light bulbs of flesh.
“Ye are the light of the world.” said the amazing carpenter whose light still shines down through the centuries. This is literally true. We are the light bulbs through whom the Light of God reaches the world. We are a part of God.
Knowing that we are a part of God…that His life within us is an active energy…and that he works through the laws of our bodies, we must constantly be alert to adjust and conform ourselves to those laws. When this is done with faith and common sense, we can even speed up the natural healing force: within our bodies.
Agnes Sanford, in her book “The Healing Light” tells of visiting a soldier in an Army hospital while doing volunteer work there. He told her he had been there six months with a shattered leg that would not heal. He told her that they were going to X-ray his leg the next day to see if the latest bone graft had taken. He was really depressed about the whole thing. He had been in a cast or traction for over six months and every bone graft had failed. He continued by telling her that they would probably operate again, put in another two or three inches of bone, put the cast and traction back on and wait another eight weeks, then take another X-ray to see if that graft had taken. He continued his story with the comment, that nature had been falling down on the job.
Agnes Sanford said, “I can tell you a way of getting nature back on the job if you want to hear it.” And, naturally the soldier was skeptical, but he asked her what it was.
So, Mrs. Sanford explained to him that there was healing energy within body that the doctors called “nature” and that this same healing light was all about him in the world outside his body…and he could receive this energy infusion by simply asking for lt.
The soldier said, ‘Who do I ask?”
Sanford said, “Ask God.”
But the soldier said he didn’t know anything about God. But, Sanford said, “You know that there’s something outside of yourself, don’t you? After all you didn’t make the world. There is some kind of being outside of you.” Yes, the soldier admitted that when he was scared enough he felt that there must be something.
“Well ask that ‘Something to come into you and help heal your leg, then thank it and believe that your leg is being healed. And after that, carry in your mind a mental image of your Ieg strong and well again.”
The boy seemed to take this healing message to his heart, and as Agnes Sanford suggested, he began asking this unseen source of healing light to come into his body and heal his leg. Whether he knew it or not, he was praying…communicating with God several times a day to heal his leg.
Three weeks later the boy was still in traction, but there was a pleased smile on his face. He confided to Mrs. Sanford that in the night, after the lights were out in the ward, he was unfastening the traction device on his leg and rolling over on his side and that he felt no pain as he had in previous bone graft operations.
Quickly Mrs. Sanford admonished him that he should not do anything like that until the doctors had told him he could. But, he kept praying and in a week he was in a wheel chair. X-rays showed the graft had taken. Within a month he was walking with a cane and a brace, then with just the cane. When Mrs. Sanford last saw him he was still praying and knowing in his heart that he would soon discard the cane and walk normally.
Now, you may say how can I do what hat soldier did? You can, but in order to receive God’s healing light in our bodies we must quiet the mind and concentrate on the spiritual energies of the light of God.
Praying is a very personal thing. It’s between you and God. If you wish to kneel and bow your head, that’s fine. Some people find it easier to concentrate on God sitting in a chair with their eyes closed. Others lie down on the bed to pray. The main thing is to place ourselves in a mental and physical attitude that is conducive to talking and listening to God.
Now you relax. Talk to your body with your conscious mind, telling it, part by part, to unwind, to slow down and prepare for a conversation with your Creator. Nerves are funny things. You can’t speak. sharply to them because they are controlled by the unseeing, mindless unconscious mind, and the subconscious mind responds accordingly by slowing you down and placing you in an attitude of meaningful communication with God. You have reached the point where you are ready to receive the abundant light and life of God.
Prayer takes practice, but it becomes more meaningful when we realize that we are communicating with God within us. God is not some far away sovereign. He is actually the medium in which we live. He is our father: We are His children. He is our very breath of life. And as we tune in our thought vibrations to the thought vibrations of God, we expose out souls to His general shining, healing light.
We receive God into ourselves by forgetting ourselves and thinking only Him. We begin our conversation not by clamoring for this and that, but thinking of Him in a way that makes Him most real for us.
Jesus gave us the model prayer, “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…” This is most practical because it immediately creates an image of His Holiness in our lives. Few of us would think of speaking to a friend on the phone before the connection was made, yet being mortals we cry out our wants and needs before really establishing a meaningful contact with our Lord.
It cheers and cleanses the soul to give thanks to God for His glory. It lifts us out of our everyday humdrum. It allows us to rejoice in the everlasting light of his purity and power. It is a resting place for our striving spirits. It is a time of renewal.
Prayer is not just for ministers or for lay speakers. It’s for all “Children of Light”…all of us. Even though He knows our needs and desires before we ask Him, it is fitting and proper to let them be known to God.
Now that we, as “Children of Light” have communicated with God, we stop and listen to His reply. We remember Jesus and translate this divine love into human terms. We know Jesus as a brother, friend and Lord. He has said to us, “Ask anything of the Father in my name and it shall be given unto you. He has given us His name to use, as a friend might allow us to use his name as an introduction to another person when applying for a job. By uniting our hearts with Him, we ask, in His name, that the light and life of God may be increased in us.
This being done, we should then rejoice in the real, definite. perceptible increase of light and life in us. As we progress in spiritual power, this perception increases. We may feel is as cool breeze sweeping through our minds. We may feel it as an in-rushing flow of energy, like electricity. We may feel it in the form per renewed strength. We may feel pain and soreness disappear, consumed by the steady, burning power of God’s healing light.
But even before we have learned to perceive these physical sensations,we are aware of an inner peace. We know this peace by the stirrings of hope within our souls…in our minds…and we rejoice and give tanks for the gifts, the blessings and the healing that are both His will and His nature to give us. For He is our Father, and we are His children.
Then, we give thanks to Him for these bountiful gifts. We give thanks to Him for them because we believe that as soon as we ask for them ln Jesus name, we begin to receive them. We may not realize that our prayers are being answered, but God ‘s time is reckoned in eons…not seconds or minutes. So, we believe that God is answering our prayers in His time frame, not ours.
Our thanksgiving testifies to our faith…and through the doorway of faith He enters our lives. Countless Christians down through the ages have failed to perceive answers to their prayers because they did not take the last step in prayer…thanking God. God stands before us with the answer in His hands, but unless we reach out to Him and take His offering and than Him for it, we are apt not to receive it. For while love is the wiring that connects our souls with His, faith is the switch that turns on the light…the power.
Our homes are full of appliances that run on electricity. We know that electricity is all around us. But just knowing that electricity is here is not enough to make any of them work. Every time we ant one of them to work we must turn on the switch that releases the electrical power to make it work. Just believing about God does not necessarily turn on a single one of our prayer objectives. We must believe that we are receiving answers to our prayers. If we truly believe this, then we will naturally rejoice and give thanks. We will praise God for His goodness by our words and our deeds.
In conclusion, let me say this…we must be continually be thankful for His life in our bodies. How easy this becomes when we realize that our bodies are made of His own energy and full of His light. How comforting it is to know that we can expose our souls to this light in prayer and absorb His life as easily, simply and naturally as a leaf absorbs sunlight. He made the leaves with infinite care. He made us with the same care so that every cell can absorb His light and power.
Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless.” When He died on the cross the Holy Spirit remained within each of us. We give thanks to God that the Holy Spirit is restoring harmony and order within our bodies. We rejoice that this healing light is rushing through us restoring us, refreshing us to a point where we can say, “Let everything within me praise the Lord.”
As God’s “Children of Light” we can do nothing less.
Let us remember the words of our Lord Jesus, when he said, “Ye are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”