March 29, 2015
Mark 14:1--15:47
Philippians 2:5-11


Fourth Sunday in Lent

Leah Thompson

Object: a photograph, film camera

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Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (v. 11)

Good morning, boys and girls! How are you this morning? (allow answers) How many of you have seen a camera like this before? (allow answers) Ten years ago, almost everyone used cameras like these! They aren't digital cameras, like we use today. These cameras use something called film. You would take pictures with the camera and then take the camera film to be developed -- at someplace like CVS or a photography shop. You didn't get to see the photos until after they were developed! How is that different from using a digital camera? (allow answers)

You had to be very careful with film cameras. If you opened them the wrong way, you could ruin the photos! Camera film is very sensitive to light. If you open the camera wrong and let light hit the film, it would make all of the pictures turn out to look like bright white flashes!

When you take film to get developed, the developers have to work in a dark room. They can't let light get on the film until they have finished developing it and the photos are ready to go.

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Our Bible verse today says, "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." That verse reminds me of photography. Photography itself -- developing photos -- is not bad, but we can use it to think about the things that we do. Imagine that we took photographs of only the bad things we did. All of our sins caught on camera! Now imagine that we took those photographs to be developed in a dark room. When we think of the dark, we think of scary things, bad things. Do you want all of those photos developed -- the photos that show the bad things you've done? (allow answers) Of course not! We don't want to be reminded of our sins. In fact, we wish they could just be washed away -- blotted out by the light and goodness of Jesus Christ.

Now imagine that we open the door to that dark room and let the light shine on our sins. The film is overexposed! The photos are erased by the light. That is how Jesus treats our lives. He erases our sins with his light of love. So say "cheese" -- that's news to smile about! Amen.