Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow Sunday May 5th, 2013 at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine: “Its Lamp Is The Lamb” (Revelation 21:22-27)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tomorrow we are going to delve into what are perhaps the most important metaphors in all of Scripture describing life: the two paths — and every, single human being travels on one or the other — called “light” and “darkness.”
Needless to say the Lord is ingenious and knows precisely how to help us as we journey through life. I have found that when we begin to understand the metaphors, the Holy Spirit is active in drawing us closer to Jesus Christ, the Light of the World (John 8). We will become more aware of how we are threatened by darkness and how light is our salvation and our constant protection to keep us in our salvation so that darkness does not envelope and destroy.
Invite a friend so they can get closer to Jesus, the Light of the World!
Tomorrow is also our short, voter’s assembly meeting which will present the slate of officers which will complete the parish council for the 2013-2014 year. If you are a confirmed, adult member, please come to this important meeting that will put us on pace for getting the important work — the holy ministry — that the Lord is putting before us to get done in the coming year.
ALSO: tomorrow and the following Sunday, May 12th are our two, back-to-back New Member Sundays. We are sooooo blessed to be receiving the following new members:
Tomorrow, May 5th:
1.        Adam R. Lee transferring from Emmaus Lutheran Church, Alhambra, CA (LCMS).

2.       Bruce & Debbie Dannemeyer transferring from Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Lake Forest, CA (LCMS).

3.       Loren Kellogg being confirmed and also becoming a new member of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

And on May 12th:

4.       Nikki Atanasova being confirmed and also becoming a new member of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

5.       Melanie Junge being confirmed and also becoming a new member of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Melanie             is joining with her two baptized children, Alyssa (finishing 5th grade) and Darren (finishing 2ndgrade).

6.      Dr. Shannon Gallina being confirmed and also becoming a new member of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Shannon’s family members are friends of the congregation including her husband Todd and their children Logan and Leah.

7.       Steve Fischer transferring from Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Lake Forest, CA (LCMS).


Here is an excerpt from tomorrow’s sermon:


“Its Lamp Is The Lamb” (Revelation 21:22-27)

Rev. Dr. Alfonso O. Espinosa

            Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Let us not forget that we are still in the holy season of Easter, today being the Sixth Sunday of Easter!


Pastor: Alleluia! Christ is risen!

People: He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


            Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, John the holy apostle in the Gospel of John, in his epistles like 1st John, and here again in the book of Revelation — all written by the Apostle John — is always talking about light and darkness. Light and darkness for him and for us might be the most important metaphors in the Bible that teach us about the way of life that knows God and walks with God as distinct from and contrasted against the way of death that rejects and rebels against God.


            And if there was ever a time that we need these rich metaphors to help us live, it is now. We seem inundated with our own sin, the evil in the world, and from the devil and his demonic forces to do one of two things:



(1)   Reject God’s light altogether.




(2)   Try to change God’s light to allow darkness into it. It doesn’t work. This “second option” is really nothing but getting back to the first option; it is just another way of rejecting God’s light.


I mention it, however, because experientially this is what the devil tries to make us do:




(1)   Reject the faith clearly and in an outright fashion (often expressed in forms of atheism, or even through agnosticism or “none-ism” (being a “none,” as opposed to a Roman Catholic “nun,” means that one has no religion, belongs to none, including the Christian faith of course).




(2)   Continuing to claim to be a Christian, while trying to make a so-called “faith” accommodate the things of darkness. This is when a so-called “Christian” wants to have their cake and to eat it too.


If we do either, then Satan becomes our master. Never forget this Christian: everyone is religious or to put it simply, everyone has an ultimate allegiance and serves a higher power, everyone has a faith, and everyone has a master or a god. There is no such thing as ultimate fence-straddling. If a person says they don’t believe in God, then that is their faith: they have faith that God does not exist and when one considers the evidence for God, then indeed to not believe requires faith. If a person rejects Jesus Christ, they are still very religious and they very much follow a god who is not the True God.


I don’t think we consider these matters often enough. Our sinful flesh doesn’t want us to. But if we are not aware of the threat, how can we possibly defend against the darkness which is constantly and daily trying to pervade our souls?


Now we have to be careful here. Precisely because the metaphors are so powerful, we need to be as precise as possible in trying to understand them. For example, light is not always necessarily a good thing and darkness is not always necessarily a bad thing. Too much light directly above you at mid-day in the desert can represent that which saps your life and kills you by dehydration or heat stroke. There are times when married couples welcome the darkness to hold each other, to get away from the rest of the world and in darkness, their love is celebrated and cemented again. Some forms of light are bad and some forms of darkness are good.


I know for example one of the forms of darkness that is bad is when I have to get up in the middle of the night and I stub my toe into a piece of furniture that I could not see. Darkness is definitely bad in these instances! On the other hand, when I want to scare my kids, darkness is fun! You get the picture.


But in God’s Word, this is what we need to know about the categories of light and darkness:

Light                                                                        Darkness

1. Shows the power                             1. Represents the powers

and presence of God.                          that oppose God.


2. Light shows or reveals                 2. Darkness = Physical &

Life, esp. Eternal Life.                             Spiritual Death.



  • Light means knowing                   3. Darkness = ignorance

God through faith in                               & unbelief.



(Koester, Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel, 143-144)


With this basic introduction to light and darkness, we are in a better position to approach Revelation chapter 21.


May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you in His saving light!


Pastor Espinosa

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