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Sunlight is said to be the best bleach and streetlamps the most effective police officers…

Lectionary Readings:
  1. Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
  2. Luke 1:46b-55
  3. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24
  4. John 1:6-8; 19-28

Growing up here in Panama, I went to Boarding School in Chame. As a child, after playing games or skating on the basketball court, we’d head back to our dorms, taking the shortest way back straight across the soccer field.  Pitch dark – although probably only 7.30 or 8.00 p.m.  Not something I wanted to do alone!

I remember (probably on more than one occasion), walking back across that field, and my friend Marion would let out a screech or scream and take off running, and I would scream and bolt for the buildings and the lights.  In overtaking her I would notice she was doubled over with laughter, but that wouldn’t really sink in until I was safely standing, out of breath, on the porch under the lights.  She’d eventually show up, still laughing.  I was so predictable: waiting for those unseen snakes or ghouls or scary monsters to grab me out of the dark.

I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m just scared of what might be hiding in it.

Today I want to speak about the LIGHT.

Ever since mankind crawled out of the primordial slime, we’ve cried: “More light.”

Sunlight. Firelight. Candlelight. Torchlight. Neon, incandescent light that banishes the darkness from our caves, homes; lights that illuminate our roads, dangerous intersections and treacherous corners; and even lights that turn on when you open the door scaring the bogey man out from inside our refrigerators. Floodlights for our sports arenas. Tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep.

Light is so much  more than watts and foot-candles. Light is metaphor: knowledge and truth (the age of enlightenment); light is life and growth (photosynthesis, vitamin D); light is energy and force; and light is light.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.   He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

The Pharisees said to him: “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us.  What do you say about yourself?”

He said “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”

This is our third week of Advent, our celebration of the birth of Jesus: the way, the truth and the life.  The gospel of John starts with these words of Truth:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… Through Him all things were made… In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness…

Notice the connection with Genesis 1?

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep… And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God saw that the light was good…

And to Genesis 3?

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

I want to start today by quickly reviewing the dichotomy of light versus darkness, in all its metaphors. Take a moment to reflect on these contrasts. What images come to mind as I read these words of Light and Darkness?

Doubt Anxiety Nightmares Despair London winter Dimness Depression Fear Tiredness Lethargy Captivity Blindness Haunted  Sickness Grief Sadness Deception  Heavy-hearted Addicted Imprisoned Contaminated Hatred Ignorance Consumed Hungry Famine

Faith Peace Courage Energy Dreams Freedom Hope Health Sunshine Sight Brightness Pleasant Contentedness Truth Joy Happiness Light-heartedness  Free spirit  Pure Love Knowledge Rejuvenated  Plenty Satisfied

Light is a force and energy, whereas darkness is merely the absence of this force and energy.  So, when the Bible says that God is LIGHT, what are the author’s trying to communicate to us?  It doesn’t say that God is LIKE light, or God is “surrounded by” light, or “God has a great big electric generator so He can sit in the spotlight”, it says “God IS light”.

Light is the essence of God – the same way that man is flesh and blood.  This light is self-existent, God possesses this power in and of Himself.  It has no external source. God is pure light, not diluted or mixed in any way with evil, hatred, untruth, ignorance or hostility. God is light is not a theoretical assertion about the nature of God, but a statement that drives us to the heart of what God is like: God is pure light.

God is the source of all living things.  God is truth and enlightenment.

If we briefly look at some of man’s encounters with God in the Bible, we can see a little better this Light and its many meanings.

Think of Moses’ first encounter with God: the burning bush. The bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames.  God has his full attention – but didn’t have to destroy anything in order to do so.

The children of Israel got a glimpse of the glory of God at Mount Sinai:

under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself… but the cloud covered the mountain, and the glory of God looked like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain.

This was all a little much for the children of Israel, especially when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with a radiant face, and they were afraid to come near him.  A little like Jesus’ transfiguration  on the mountain with Moses and Elijah.  A bright cloud enveloped them… and when Peter, James & John heard the voice, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.

On the other hand, think now of David, and his beautiful psalms. Here we find at least three metaphors:

  1. Picture God “clothed in garments of light”, symbolising the One who is pure, righteous and holy (there is no dirtiness, nothing to taint or contaminate God).
  2. God’s revelation through spoken and written word gives light: “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”; offering moral guidance and direction for how to live.
  3. Light symbolises also salvation: “God is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Or how about Isaiah:

The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

Did you ever notice that most of the prophets start with “The word of the Lord came to…”, except for Ezekiel. Have you noticed Ezekiel’s spaceship?

I looked and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north – an immense cloud with flashing lightening and surrounded by brilliant light.  The centre of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures (with faces and wings – each of the four had the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox and the face of an eagle) – so it didn’t matter which way they were facing, they were always facing forward.  The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches.  Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright and lightening flashed out of it.  The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightening.

Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked like an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome… Then there came a voice… Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man.  I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.  Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.  When I saw it, I fell facedown…

I’m somewhat relieved I haven’t had THAT encounter with God!  And then sent out to preach against the injustice and evil of man…

And what about Paul? While breathing out murderous threats against the disciples, on the road to Damascus suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, sending him to the ground.  When he got up and opened his eyes, he couldn’t see.  And for three days he was blind.  Three days to sit in quiet and solitude, and meditate on the meaning of his life.  Three days to sit and think about what he’d been shown when he saw the light.  Three days to wonder if the light was going to be the last thing he ever saw.

And yet, without light, none of us can see.  Our eyes are useless in the pitch dark.  Our sense of hearing and smell and taste and touch are unaffected by the darkness – but take away the light, and we are all blind.  We need the reflection of light off objects to be able to see them.  Light = sight.

You know, and I know, we each need that encounter with the LIGHT.

Some of us will find that light burning within us, but like the burning bush, this light doesn’t consume us. It is the Light that sends us out to rescue those who are prisoners or slaves, whether they are addicts, those imprisoned by poverty, those bound by depression or those just in need of love.  This light from within feeds itself and gives us energy and light, but it doesn’t destroy us. It is the light of life!  The light of the Spirit! The light of joy and giving! This is the Light that we are called to share with our fellow man. Don’t hide this light under a bushel.  We are not to be mirrors of this light – this light is meant to burn inside each of us!

Some of us will fall on our faces, before the purity and power of the LIGHT, and simply worship.  And when we walk away, after being in God’s presence you will be radiant, transfigured.  Perhaps scary for others to see, but we will be RADIANT.

Some of us need to walk in the light, as David did: the light that guides each footstep and guides our path. We all need the words of truth.

Others will find in the Light that place of safety and security, the salvation that they so desperately need.  The light that lifts them out of depression or addiction.  The light that sets them free.

Some of us may be in that place where it seems that there is no light from the sun, and then we will hear, as Isaiah did “the LORD will be an everlasting light”.

Others of us will need to see the supernatural, like Ezekiel. That light that takes our breath away – and when it’s done, empowers and emblazons us to stand up and speak out against the injustices in the world.   That takes us to fight for the 13 million people in the Horn of Africa that are starving because of the drought; the drive and motivation to face the starving refugees of Somalia; the motivation to stand up in “occupy” and say I disagree with the financial powers that be, “this is wrong”; or whatever message is laid on our hearts regarding the injustices and inequality in this world.

We need that Light that moves us to pray for the family in England of the man who after losing his job went home and shot his wife and daughter and 2 other children and then turned the gun on himself, leaving 2 orphaned children in the hospital to deal with the horror of the future without a father or mother or sister.  And yet others will be called to minister directly to the grieving.

Some of us need that jolt of lightening like Paul, that stops us in our tracks, and makes us take time out from our endeavours and goals and plans, and the rat-race we call life, to make us rethink the direction that our life is heading in.

But more than anything, ALL of us need to be plugged into the LIGHT, the energy, the life-force.  We are all like stand-alone computers, that until we are plugged in to the electricity, we can’t do anything, and unless we’re connected to the network, there’s a limit to how much information or data we can access.  We all need to be plugged in and connected.

We read in first John 1: 5-7

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is Light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus… purifies us from all sin.

I ask each of you to take a moment right now, before we go on with this service, to meditate on what God’s Spirit reveals to you.  How are you called to respond this Christmas season?

Some of us will be called, like Isaiah to proclaim:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because I have been anointed by the LIGHT; the LIGHT has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; To proclaim the year of the LIGHT’s favour… to comfort all who mourn; … to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. For the LIGHT loves justice, and hates robbery and wrongdoing; the LIGHT will faithfully give them their recompense. … I will greatly rejoice in the LIGHT, my whole being shall exult in my God; for the LIGHT has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and covered me with the robe of righteousness…   For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the LIGHT will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Others, will, like Mary proclaim:

My soul magnifies the Lord, my LIGHT, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the LIGHT has looked with favor on the lowliness of this servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me…  His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; the LIGHT and TRUTH has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. The Mighty One has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; the LIGHT has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. The Mighty One has helped his servant … in remembrance of His mercy.

And finally, from Paul we are reminded:

Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; Give thanks in ALL circumstances, knowing that this is the LIGHT’s will for you. Don’t quench or put out the Spirit of Light by allowing darkness to take hold in your life; Do not despise the words of the prophets, but test everything that you are told and hold fast to what is good and true; abstaining from every form of evil.  And know that the God of peace Himself will sanctify you entirely; that your spirit and soul will be kept sound and blameless, no matter what happens or how crazy this world gets.  Because the one who is call THE LIGHT has called you, and the LIGHT is faithful and true, and will do this.

everything beautiful, relationship with God, no Bible, how did Abraham discover God, Pentateuch, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, gospels, epistles, Muslims, Christians, Jews,infinite all-powerful God, building faith, living, true God, infinite in being, perfection, most pure spirit, invisible, immutable, immense, eternal, most absolute, but one God, no god other than Him, compassionate and merciful, reflect with care, timelessness of God, creation of time, a time for everything, a time to plant, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to tear down, human heart, be happy, do good

Everything beautiful in His time…

Lectionary Readings:

1-     Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25

2-    Psalms 78:1-7

3-     Matthew 25: 1-14

I often wonder what our relationship with God would be like if we had no Bible. Think about it for a minute – other than your relationship with God, what friendship or relationship comes with a guide-book?

So, how on earth did Abraham discover God and become God’s friend? He had no Pentateuch, Psalms, Isaiah or Jeremiah, no gospels or epistles from Paul to help him along his way.

We read this morning in Joshua:

‘…Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshipped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan…[1]

How did Abraham, living in a family that worshipped other gods, discover God for himself?  Why do we have Jews, Muslims and Christians believing in this infinite all-powerful God, building faith and rituals and traditions on the God described in the Westminster Confession?

One & only,(a) living, and true God:(b) who is infinite in being and perfection,(c) a most pure spirit,(d) invisible,(e) without body parts,(f) or passions,(g) immutable,(h) immense,(i) eternal,(k) incomprehensible,(l) almighty,(m) most wise,(n) most holy,(o) most free,(p) most absolute,(q) working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will…”[2]

Even if we read the Koran we find:

“Your God is but one God. There is no god other than Him, Compassionate and Merciful. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alternation of night and day, in the ships that ply the seas to the benefit of man, in the water sent down from the heavens to revive the earth after its death, in the different species of animals scattered across the earth, in the rotation of the winds, in the clouds that are subordinate to God’s command between heaven and earth, in all of this, there are signs for men who use their intellects.”[3]

“Tell men to reflect with care and see what things the heavens and the earth contain.”[4]

The Bible says that if I seek God, I’ll find Him.  How long is building my relationship with God supposed to take?  There are supposed to be signs for those who use their intellects to see God – but where am I supposed to look? When will God’s work in my life be done?

In answer to my question, how did Abraham discover God for himself, I found some light shed in a couple of legends that are sometimes recounted to Muslim children.  I told one of those legends this morning to the children, and now I want to tell the 2nd one to you. Then I’m going to relate these to our Bible readings this morning.

Here goes:

In the days of mighty King Nimrod, there lived in Mesopotamia a young man named Abraham. Now, Abraham’s father was an idol maker named Terah Azar, who carved the wooden gods worshipped by his people. But Abraham was a believer in the one God, and not in the gods made by hand.

Azar would send Abraham and his other sons to sell his idols in the marketplace. But Abraham would call to the passersby, “Who’ll buy my idols? They won’t help you and they can’t hurt you! Who’ll buy my idols?”

He’d also mock the gods of wood: take them to the river, push their faces into the water, and command them, “Drink! Drink!”

Abraham would ask his father, “How can you worship what doesn’t see or hear or do you any good?”

Azar replied, “Dare you deny the gods of our people? Get out of my sight!”

“May God forgive you,” said Abraham. “No more will I live with you and your idols.” And he left the house of his father.

Now, the time came for one of the festivals of that town. The people gathered in their temple and placed offerings of food before their gods.

Abraham walked among them, saying, “What are you worshipping? Do these idols hear when you call them? Can they help you or hurt you?”

But their only reply was, “It is the way of our forefathers.”

“I am sick of your gods!” declared Abraham. “Truly I am their enemy.”

When the people had gone out, Abraham took some of the food and held it up to the idols. “Why don’t you eat?” he mocked them. “Aren’t you hungry? Speak to me!” And he slapped their faces.

Then Abraham took an axe and chopped the idols to pieces—all except for the largest idol, of course, the chief god of the people. And he tied the axe to the hand of that idol.

When the people returned, they were shocked to find their gods broken up and scattered about the temple. Then they remembered how Abraham had spoken, and they sent for him.

“Abraham,” said the head man, “was it you who did this?”

“Surely it was someone!” he replied. “Their chief stands there with an ax in his hand. Perhaps he grew jealous and destroyed the rest. But why don’t you just ask him?”

The head man said, “You know they neither strike nor speak.”

“Then why worship gods that you make?” demanded Abraham. “Worship instead the Maker of all!”

But few of the people would listen. Abraham was seized and brought to King Nimrod for punishment.

When Nimrod had heard the accusers, he turned to Abraham. “Who is this mighty God you spoke of?”

“He it is Who gives life and death,” answered Abraham.

“But I too give life and death,” said Nimrod. “I pardon a guilty man sentenced to die—then I execute one who is innocent!”

“That is not the way of my Lord,” said Abraham. “But listen to this: Each morning, my Lord brings the sun up in the east. Can you make it rise in the west?”

Then Nimrod grew angry. He had a great fire built, and he ordered Abraham to be tied up and thrown into it. But the fire only burnt away the ropes, and they saw Abraham sitting peacefully among the flames. Beside him was an angel in Abraham’s likeness, comforting and protecting him.

After that, Nimrod did not dare try to harm Abraham again. Abraham returned to his town, where he gathered those who believed in the one God. Then he set out west, placing all faith in the Lord.

And so… As in Genesis, we find Abraham setting out to the west from beyond the Euphrates.

The timelessness of God came up one morning in our discussions in adult Sunday school – our clocks are set by the earth’s rotation around the sun, and our tides and seasons by our orbit around the sun and the moon’s orbit around the earth.  So, if God created the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, then it goes without saying that God created time: the hours, minutes, and seconds of our day– and therefore God is timeless – above and beyond our restraints of time.

In Matthew 25 we read about the 5 wise and the 5 foolish virgins waiting for the bridegroom to arrive – to light the way for the bridal party.  The 5 wise virgins had enough oil and the 5 foolish virgins burnt out their lamps and had to run off to get more.  While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived and by the time they got back, it was too late – they were no longer needed.  The 5 foolish virgins made one small mistake – they acted on their expectations, rather than acting with forethought.  They expected the bridegroom to show up at a certain time.  Not in his time – when they expected him to.  They were ready now… he should be here now… “oh, what could possibly be taking them so long?”  “They should have been here hours ago.

Think about it like this:

15 years ago we didn’t have cell phones to coordinate with each other.  Let’s say us girls were getting together to go shopping for Christmas tree ornaments, and we organised to meet at Albrook Mall at 10.00 a.m. Saturday morning, at the entrance by the supermarket.  Everyone would be there at 10.00 a.m., because if you weren’t there on time, you would know if we were still at the mall or whether we’d moved on from there over to El Dorado, or if we’d decided to go to Caledonia to see if we could find better bargains.  Then we would organise a time, and whoever failed to be there was out – unless, of course, the one that’s missing is the one that has the car!

So, imagine this wedding… you’re waiting for the bridegroom – an essential part of the wedding! Without him, nothing gets started.  And while you’re waiting, you run out of oil… Now, he’s an essential part of the wedding – but are the lamp-bearing virgins “essential”?  No… they’re part of the wedding, but one more or one less – the show can go on without them.  The bridegroom has arrived, the procession leaves… and whoever went out for oil gets left behind.

So… How about you and God?

Are you expecting God to act “on your timetable” or have you come to understand your minor role in Act 2011?

Is your attitude: “I prayed about it, and I need the answer by next week, OK God?” Or are you working on God’s time?

Psalms relates: that for God 1000 years is like a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.[5]  I found on the internet where someone actually worked out what that meant – if 1000 years is one day, then one minute in heaven-time equals 8.33 months on earth.  So, when God’s response to your prayer is “I’ll be with you in just a minute” you know how long you’re supposed to wait?

Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3 explains it:

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, … 5 … a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is… has already been, and what will be… has been before; and God will call the past to account.

Solomon, the philosopher and wise man, the King – looked on the world and on creation, and saw God in it; got a glimpse of eternity.

When I read the Hebrew Scriptures, I get a feeling of how quickly generations pass.

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath[6].

In our Psalm this morning, we read about what our ancestors have told us, and how we are to pass these experiences on to the next generation.  Our job on this earth is to learn from the past and build for the future, while understanding the eternity which is set in our hearts.

In business, we talk about leaving a legacy – what legacy are we leaving? What have we learnt about God and our relationship with Him that we are leaving to those who will come after us? If each new generation were to write another book of the Bible, what would it say? How could we describe what we have learned about God to others, to make it easier for someone else to understand?

I want to finish this morning revisiting our reading from Joshua 25 – that I’ve taken a little of literary license with:

Respect God and serve Him faithfully.  Throw away your gods – stop chasing after more money, fame and fortune, keeping up with the Joneses, fitness and health, making a fashion statement – and focus on the truly important and eternal things in life.  If this change of lifestyle (focusing on the eternal and leaving a true legacy) seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves today who you will serve: Money? Intelligence & Knowledge? Fame & fortune? The Joneses? Fashion? Fitness? Pleasure? The big “I” – me, myself, and I?

But as for me and my family – we’ve decided we’re going to focus on our relationship with God and how to translate that into everything we say and do.

All the people answered – “No, we won’t get caught up in the present and material world and forsake God and chase after meaningless pursuits! We’ll remember what we were before and what God has done for us, the miracles we’ve experienced; His protection and guidance in all our travels.  We’re going to make this commitment too, because He is our God.” 

Joshua warned them: “You won’t be able to serve God – He’s holy and perfect and without any faults or weaknesses.  And he expects the same from you! God won’t just overlook and forgive your intentional rebellion and sins – when you decide to forsake the eternal and run after money or fame & fortune, or get so caught up with running your business that you forget that there’s more to life than the bottom line.  If you start looking to the material world for your happiness and satisfaction, you’ll be headed for disaster: it will be the end of you, and you’ll lose everything that you’ve built and learned in your relationship with God. Remember the eternal. 

But the people were adamant: “No, we’ve decided. We’re going to serve God.” 

And so Joshua responded to everyone present: You are witnesses against yourselves – YOU’VE chosen God for yourselves (I didn’t choose Him for you.  I didn’t force Him on you.  It’s your free-will choice). Worship Him. 

And they responded – “We are witnesses…. We’ll worship God. What He says, we’ll do.”

We have each been given the gift of God’s Spirit – and the right to be called Children of God. Do we accept the gift?

Having accepted this, it’s our responsibility daily to tend to this Spirit – the continual flow of the relationship we have – keeping it constant and flowing.  Eternity has already started for each of us – it’s not some unknown moment of the future.

Our relationship with the Creator, with the Eternal –This is what really matter. 

Even in the mundane, we need to find that pearl of growth and change that lights our way, so that we can light the way for those that will come after us.

Each day of our lives should be lived as if it were our last: THIS is the day that will decide my future.  I’m ready and prepared to live this day filled with the Spirit!  Seeking and finding God. Not just reading my Bible – but actually building on my relationship with a living God. Building on yesterday’s foundations, and making room for tomorrow’s dreams.

Being the lamp that is shining in our community and lighting the way for others to follow.  Believing that God makes everything (even me) beautiful in His time… and working toward that final finished product.

It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.[7]

[1] Joshua 25: 2-3

[2](a) Deut. 6:4; I Cor. 8:4, 6; (b) I Thess. 1:9; Jer. 10:10; (c) Job 11:7, 8, 9; Job 26:14; (d) John 4:24; (e) I Tim. 1:17; (f) Deut. 4:15, 16; John 4:24, with Luke 24:39; (g) Acts 14:11, 15; (h) James 1:17; Mal. 3:6; (i) I Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23, 24; (k) Ps. 90:2; I Tim. 1:17; (l) Ps. 145:3; (m) Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8; (n) Rom. 16:27; (o) Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; (p) Ps. 115:3; (q) Exod. 3:14.

[3] (2:163-164)

[4] (10:101)

[5]Psalms 90:4

[6]Psalms 39:5

[7] Elisabeeth Kubler-Ross