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Walter Albritton

June 17, 2018

 

Guided by a voice in the darkness

 

            The year was 1978. The day was January 2nd. The occasion was the Orange Bowl football game. The Oklahoma Sooners were heavily favored to beat the Arkansas Razorbacks. To the surprise of everyone except Coach Lou Holtz, his Razorbacks upset the Sooners 31-6.

            Though I am an Auburn man, I was in the stadium pulling for the Hogs. That was the price of my ticket. An Arkansas friend had given me the ticket provided I would cheer for his team. It was a fun night to be a Razorback fan.

            But what I remember most about that game was the remarkable halftime show. No Rock Band. No super stars. Just one man with a microphone standing in the middle of the field.

The stadium became quiet as the man began to give instructions. He explained how he wanted us to use the thousands of flashlights Boy Scouts had given out during the first half of the game.

            The stadium lights were turned out. In the darkness one voice guided 50,000 people to synchronize the display of green lights, red lights and orange lights, using cellophane papers and flashlights. Family and friends watching the show on television said it was uniquely beautiful. What remains incredible to me is the thought of one voice guiding thousands of people to work together and do something beautiful in the darkness.

            That is a picture of God at work in the world. It is a picture of the church the way God wants it to work. One voice, the voice of Christ, guiding many people working together to do a beautiful thing in the midst of the world’s darkness.

            Many voices clamor for our attention. There are voices on radio and television screaming their offers to buy this and that. Voices in dark places invite us to find the good life in materialism, drugs, alcohol and sex.  So many loud voices make it difficult to hear the still, small voice of God.  He does not scream but He does speak. He speaks through His Word and that Word is His Son Jesus.

            The Christian learns to hear and pay attention to one voice, the voice of the Christ who guides his people to work together. Listening to Christ, and obeying him, Christians are able to create beauty – even in the darkness.

Whose voice has your attention? + + +