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Christ, Our Light! (Installation Service)
On that momentous night in 1775 when Paul Revere made his historic ride from Charlestown to Lexington, warning
the colonists that the enemy was on the march by his quickening shout, "The British are coming!"
The response to his alarm was conveyed immediately from one patriot to another by lights set in cottage windows,
indicating that the Minute Men were ready to join together to stop the approach of the enemy.
However, those little lights gleaming from patriot's homes that night as signals from one neighbor to another had been lighted
by greater light which had been its message through the darkness, alerting colonial America to its eminent peril.
For a while Paul Revere had waited in Charlestown for a signal from his compatriot, from the tower of the old North Church
from which a light had shone, the rays of which have never grown dim.
In response to that message, the men of Concord and of Lexington rallied; and, even though the names of those
true nobleman who participated in the decisive events which followed are not recorded in the histories we read,
the record of their combined efforts will be remembered by all defenders of freedom as long as the love of liberty shall last.
For unnumbered centuries the world had waited in the darkness of sin, watching anxiously for a light which would guide
sinful men into the liberty which is found only "where the Spirit of the Lord is." (2 Corinthians 3: 17b)
One night while the world waited, a group of humble men were alerted by a signal from heaven when a host of celestial beings
declared, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:7)
"And, lo a star appeared in the East and wise men followed its gleam into the very presence of Him of whom
the prophet said: "... mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel." (Luke 2: 30-32)
Apparently, the miraculous events of that holy night were forgotten by the waiting world; but one day,
as a Man was dying on a cross, a soldier who had helped to crucify Him said,
"Truly this man was the Son of God." (Mark 15: 39)
So revolting was that scene that even the sun refused to shine on it, and God the Father turned His face from it;
but even in the terrible throes of our Saviour's suffering for the sins of the whole race He turned in tender compassion
toward a repenting sinner and spoke peace to his sin-stricken soul.
The same light that shone from Calvary's cross that day in the darkened heart of the dying thief still shines today for sinful men.
"God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shine in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Again, America is threatened by an enemy which is more far reaching in its scope, and far more deadly in its effect
than all the combined armies of the world.
For the threat which looms large against us would not only enslave the bodies of men and women, boys and girls,
but their minds and souls as well.
The plans of the enemy are aimed not only at our nation, but against the whole world.
In vain would we hope for deliverance were it not for the claim of Him who said, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12)
Jesus justified His right to make that claim while He was one as the Light of our salvation from Calvary's cross.
Music: "The Light of the World Is Jesus"
What are the virtues of light which symbolize the virtues, which we as lesser lights must portray?
Light Gives Life.
Without light that can be no life.
A little girl wanted to surprise her mother on her birthday.
She took the savings from her penny bank and bought a small plant, which the florist assured her would bloom
by the appointed day.
The child slipped the plant home and into her closet where she carefully concealed it.
Day after day she would sneak into the darkened closet to pour water on the plant, thinking that she was doing
all that was necessary to take care of it.
When the day arrived, she proudly brought forth the gift; but, to her utter dismay, there was no flower and the plant was dead.
She had shut it off from the light.
Without the light of the Sun of Righteousness shining on fallen humanity there can be no life.
Jesus said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)
Light Cleanses Life.
The most effective treatment for the disease of tuberculosis is sunlight.
Christ, our Light, does just that for us.
- It is the greatest of all germicides.
- It is effective not only because it destroys the death dealing agencies themselves, but also because it builds up
a resident strength within.
He has not only defeated all the forces of evil that threaten us, but has implanted within us an everlasting strength
to cleanse life of its impurities and make it beautiful within and without.
"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1: 4)
Light Preserves Life.
During the battle of the Java Sea a destroyer was torpedoed and dozens of men were hurled into the oil-covered waters,
where they struggled for their lives.
They sighted a British destroyer in the distance, but their cries for help could not be heard above the mighty roar of the ocean.
However, to their surprise, they saw the cruiser change its course and head in their direction.
When they were rescued, one of them asked the captain of the vessel how he happened to discover them.
He answered, "We saw the lights on your life preservers."
The man watching from the crow's nest on the destroyer knew there were sailors lost at sea when he saw
their illuminated life preservers from the distance.
When we yield our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation, and we are enrolled under His banner,
He puts His illuminated lifebelt around us.
And when the waves of the stormy seas of life crash about us and our voices cannot be heard over the roar of the tempest,
Jesus is watching from His vantage point, and He can see the light that He placed about us when He gave forgiveness
for all our sins.
That light will never go out.
We are kept through the power of it.
"The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1: 5)
Light Makes Life Beautiful.
Even if life could be without light, it would be monotonous and colorless, for light is a combination
and integration of all colors.
When it is broken down into its constituent parts, the lovely shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
indigo and violet are revealed.
How dreary and drab, tedious and tiresome the world would be without the red rays of the dawn,
the beautiful arch of the rainbow, the glint in the gold of little children's hair,
and the cheerful coloring of birds and flowers and woodlands.
"I asked the robin as he sprang
- Christ, our Light, gives life.
- He cleanses life.
- He preserves life.
- He makes life lovely.
From branch to branch and sweetly sang
What made his breast so very red.
"'Twas looking toward the sun," he said.
I asked the violets, sweet and blue,
Sparkling with the morning dew,
Whence came their color. Then, so shy,
They answered, "Looking ever toward the sky."
I saw the roses one by one
unfold their petals to the sun.
I asked what made their tints so bright.
They answered, "Looking toward the light."
I asked the thrush, whose every note
Seemed like a song from an angel's throat.
What made him sing in the twilight dim.
He answered, "Looking up to Him."
I asked the Christian, heaven-bent --
Three score years for her Master spent --
What made her happy every day.
"Looking unto Jesus," I heard her say."
-- Sanford D. Stockton
The light from Calvary is unfailing, and it is sufficient for all who will look and live.
But many are groping in the darkness of sin. who will not see the greater light, and they will never know the meaning
of its message unless they catch the signal from the lights that shine through the lives
of God's Minute Men -- His loyal soldiers of the cross.
I charge you, in the words of the great apostle of our Christian faith:
"In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation... ye shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15)
Will All of the Officers And Teachers Of Our Sunday School and Our Church
As we listen to the message of the music, "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning,"
will each of you come to this altar and light the candle which you hold in your hand from the light of this large candle.
This will signify that according to God's grace you will let nothing abide in your lives which will dim the light
from His countenance as it shines through you, and that you will "walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5:8)
And that you will declare the gospel message to the lost, at home and abroad, that Jesus is the light of the world,
and that all who look to Him through repentance and faith shall not come into condemnation but have life everlasting.
(While officers approached the altar
"Let the Lower Lights Be Burning" is being played.)
Prayer Of Dedication:
(Pray that each officer will be as a steady, unfailing light pointing the lost to the Saviour.)
Will the members please stand!
We have seen the officers and teachers whom you have chosen to lead you in your work for the coming year pledge
themselves to the holy service of shining for Him who is our Light through their prayers, their influence,
and their devotion to duty.
If you, too, are willing to pledge, in the presence of these newly elected officers, in the presence of each other,
and in the presence of our heavenly Father, that you too, according to His grace will let nothing abide in your lives
which will dim the light from His countenance as it shines through you; and, that you too, will walk as children of light,
declaring through your lives that Jesus is the Light of the world.
Will you now reverently bow your heads while we are led in a prayer of dedication of your time, your talents,
and your treasure to Jesus, the Light of the world.
Music: "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning"
(By concealed vocalist or...)
The leader will stand behind a small pedestal on which is one large, white candle.
Each of the officers to be installed will be provided with a small candle.
The leader asks the officers to come forward, as their names are called -- one at a time to light their candle.
After lighting their candles they will take their places in a line around the sanctuary; and with bowed heads
-- remained standing through the playing of one verse and chorus of "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning,"
and the prayer of dedication.