“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
My family and I have always loved to go camping, and there have been a few times, in our rush to get back to the great outdoors, that we’ve forgotten important pieces of camping equipment.
A flashlight is one of them. Not only are flashlights important for personal safety (and what child doesn’t love his own?), but also forgetting the campsite lantern can be hazardous to the whole family camp experience.
The Bible tells us that life in this world as a Christian is similar to being on a big camping trip. We don’t really live here, heaven is our home.
As strangers living in a strange land, Christians understand that God has given us His Word to thoroughly equip us for life in this sometimes dark and scary world. What makes the world dark and scary is sin. By definition, sin is breaking God’s Word. Every one of us is guilty of it every day. And sin is scary because it earns for us death — a separation from God — spiritually and eternally.
Being dead in sin doesn’t sound like a fun camping trip, but it is how we are without faith in the lantern of God’s Word.
Jesus says, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Follow Jesus in His Word — the 66 divinely inspired and inerrant books of the Bible. Raise the lantern of His Word in your home and church and it will show you its two great teachings: 1) God’s Law: that you’ve sinned and fallen short of what God demands; and 2) God’s Gospel: the good news of sins forgiven through faith in the cross of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Watch out for those who’ve given up on the Bible saying, “Look at how many denominations there are. Everyone has their own interpretation. Who knows who’s right and who’s wrong?” That is a sneaky lie that denies the perspicuity of Scripture.
The truth is, the Bible is plain and easily understood, especially because of its clarity and precision of presentation. God inspired it to be written as the means to save us by the hearing of His Word. So read it, hear it, believe it and be saved. Read it to your children, because they, too, can believe it and easily understand it.
Every one of us is on this camping trip through this dark place. The psalmist knew how important this piece of equipment is for our life’s camping trip when he wrote: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and light unto my path.”
With all the snow in the L-C Valley this weekend, I’m glad I’m not out camping in it. But the beautiful white snow does remind me of the good news of God’s undeserved loving kindness toward us through our Savior Jesus Christ. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Another beautiful ray of light from the lantern of God’s Word. Life in this world can be very dark and confusing.
So don’t forget the lantern. Let it shine in your camp. God’s Word will light up your path and keep you and your family from stumbling in the darkness of this world.
Pastor Naumann serves St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clarkston and Peace Lutheran Church in Orofino.