TITLE: The Greatest Disaster is Not A California Wildfire
DATE: December 13, 2018
TEXT: John 8:12 (ESV) 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The whole world has watched the fires of California
While the fires have been the big story; there have been other stories, smaller, individual stories which have come out of the blazes. So there might be good news, small bits of brightness among the darkness, is the reason these stories also need to be told.
For example have you heard of Dane Ray Cummings? Dane is a garbage collector in the city of Paradise. Because of the approaching fire, Dane’s boss told him to end his day early.
Dane didn’t do that. You see the boss knew the route, but Dane knew the people.
Knowing some of the older folk might be stranded kept Dane going. He said, "I been on that route eight years, and I just picked the people that I knew were older, and I tried to stop and help them and let them know that they were coming and make sure they were getting out."
And so it came to pass, toward the very end of the route, Dane came across 93-year-old Margaret Newsum who was standing on her front porch. Dane told her, “'You’re not staying here. You've got to get out of here. Why are you still here?'" They were questions which didn’t need an answer. Dane already knew what he was going to do. Breaking some company policies, Dane personally rescued Ms. Newsum as he lifted her into the truck and drove her to safety.
Centuries ago it seemed as if the fires of hell would consume every man, woman and child who would ever live. It was a great story of darkness, tragedy and loss.
But then a Light appeared in the small Judean town of Bethlehem. No, that’s wrong. Jesus was not A light; He was THE Light. The angels who were sent to announce His coming said He was “good news of great joy for all people.”
And so He is. In His short life, He fulfilled the laws we have all broken and resisted every temptation Satan and the world placed before Him. He called sinners to repentance and assured them that there was hope. He was betrayed by a friend, accused by His church; condemned by His government and nailed to a cross.
That is what spectators could see that day. What they couldn’t see is that Jesus carried our sins to the cross, paid their price and with His third-day resurrection from the grave, defeated death. Today, in triumph, He has sent His Holy Spirit Who offers personal rescue; Who provides a safe path out of the flames which once seemed so impossible.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a dark and tragedy filled world, grant that I may see my Savior and trusting in Him Who is good news of great joy, see the deliverance He has won for me. In His Name I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by John Johnson for Newser on November 12, 2018. Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/267133/as-fire-neared-garbageman-got-93-year-old-to-safety.html
See also: https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/accuweather-predicts-2018-wildfires-will-cost-california-total-economic-losses-of-400-billion/70006691
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html