Snap! Crackle! Pop! Bang! Boom!
Sounds like a box of cereal! In fact, such were the sounds that rang throughout West Auckland over several nights, with fireworks filling New Zealand skies with adorning lights and wondrous colour, as the annual Guy Fawkes celebrations took place.
I recall Guy Fawkes as a young kid in Otara. Dad would buy a bunch of fire crackers (loud ones at that), and the five of us (siblings), would have to share. It worked out to be 4 fire crackers per person with my older sister, for some reason, having fifteen to herself (I still can’t work that out?). Once we
had made our little noise, from our little pile of fire crackers, in our little corner of the street – we would sit on the driveway and marvel at our neighbours’ sky rockets screaming high into the air, followed by a loud bang, and culminating with the burst of a fountain of the most beautiful colours. I remember sitting and wishing these lights would never end. It was awesome. As kids, we knew the best thing was waking the next morning to scan the street for unlit fireworks – this was fun!
The multi-coloured light spectacle that is Guy Fawkes, can act as a reminder for us in a spiritual sense. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness” (John 8:12). Unlike fire crackers and sky rockets that showcase a flurry of light momentarily, Jesus claims that by following him, the “light of the world,” life no longer needs to be lived in darkness – it is not just a burst of light that returns to darkness. Rather, it is a light that never goes out – an Eternal Light. It is a promise of companionship all the days of our lives. And how about us?
Many of us have lost the spark and excitement of first following Jesus Christ. Some of us, who once needed the “light of the world,” are like fire crackers – we just make a loud bang – a loud noise. And we won’t make noise again until something ignites a new excitement inside us. Some of us, like sky rockets, scream high into the night skies, producing a spectacle of light, attractive to the eye, that lasts only seconds – but then we lose our fizzle. But, there are also those of us, who are like the next morning – just lying there unlit. If its unlit – well, it’s not a light is it?
In Jesus, there is no darkness. This light does not fizzle out. It’s not just noise. This Light will burn even in our most darkest of days. Will you accept the “Light of the World?”
Bless your week!
Rev. Gary Mauga
- a reflection on the concept of living once.
Greetings in Jesus’ name!
A popular saying has been circulating among the youth of today in recent times. YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” Such a word has been used by all ages, and mentioned quite regularly on reality television shows such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” a show that follows the wealthy and dramatic lifestyle of the Kardashian family (well, so I’ve heard).
The term YOLO encourages a “make the most of life” attitude. As you and I know, such an attitude can both be a good thing and bad thing. For example, for many of us, we understand not to take life for granted and to make the most of the opportunities life presents us with. However, there is a fine line between making the most of life, and living so fast that our quality of life becomes a ticking off of bucket lists. If the latter is the case, are we really living? Are we even living at all?
For me, quality living begins when one receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. In John 11:25, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though
they die.” Jesus claims to be life itself. It is then by receiving Jesus Christ that in doing so, our living begins. And, as we have just read, Jesus’ claim to be the resurrection tells us that He, alone, has conquered death (on the Cross). Christ died for us in order that we would be given life.
Have you accepted and received the life that comes in Jesus Christ? Are you alive and living? In Jesus we find life. Jesus continues on that, “Those who live and believe in me will never die (v. 26).”
So, in many a sense, we do only live once – but we need to be sure to make the decision to receive Christ as our life, in order to even begin living.
What are your thoughts?
Rev Gary Mauga
Rev. Gary Mauga
Thoughts and comments by our minister, Gary.
This page content © 2016
Rev. Gary Mauga