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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Where the Son Outshines the Sun

There is much in this world to make us afraid. Little five-year old Johnny was in the kitchen while his mother was preparing supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get a can of tomato soup. But Johnny objected, saying, "It's dark in there and I'm scared." She asked him again, and he persisted. Finally she said, 'It's okay - Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and was about to leave when an idea came to him. Peering inside he yelled, "Jesus, if you're in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?"

Are you afraid of the dark? Darkness descends upon us each evening when the sun "goes down." To fight our widespread fear of the dark and the insecurity nighttime brings we have flashlights beside our beds, street lights lining our streets and highways, flood lights around our houses, security lights around our businesses and buildings, and night-lights marking the way through our homes. Some people sleep with the light on. Because light helps us feel more secure, we surround ourselves with it day and night. But night lights and street lights and flashlights and even sunlight cannot flush away all our fears. Fears like fear of terrorism, fear of a tornado, fear of the future, fear about finances, fear of an accident, fear of cancer or a heart attack, fear of getting married or getting divorced or getting old or just getting by, fear of getting raped or robbed, fear our children will get off track or get on drugs, and the mother of all fears the fear of death. We need a powerful light to chase these fears away. Thank God one is available!

Revelation 21-22 describes Heaven as a place of brilliant and breathtaking light. Most people have heard of the apostle John's description of the fabulous glory and beauty of Heaven in terms of its "twelve/ gates of pearls" and its *street of pure gold" 21:21). It is a place where "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (21:4). But Heaven is also a place where the Son outshines the sun! As a matter of fact, in Heaven the Son will replace the sun! Revelation 21:23 assures us "the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light." Twice we read "there shall be no night there" (21:24; 2:5). Again we read, *They shall need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light" (21:5b). In Heaven, you will never see dark and you will never know fear. There is no night there, for the Son always shines! I want to go there, don't you?!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ