Bringing the Text to Life
[Note: Begin the sermon by putting William Holman Hunt's "The Light of the World" painting on a screen and asking the congregation if they have ever seen this picture before. Chances are, no matter how religious or irreligious a person's upbringing, most will acknowledge that they have seen this painting.]
Who among us as a child didn't spend hours with neighborhood chums playing hide-and-seek? One person was designated to be "It" while the rest of us found the most ingenious places to hide that we could think of. The person who was "It" would count to a hundred, and then open his or her eyes, turn around and shout, "Ready or not, here I come. Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Those who were hiding would wait for the right moment to come out and try to make it "home" without being caught.
Hunt's "The Light of the World" has illustrated American evangelicalism since the artist completed it in 1853. This is the classic picture of a graciously robed Jesus, standing in a garden,...