The people saw great light

Today, being the start of the new week, I’d like to talk to you about the hope that is Jesus Christ, and the light within Him. There will be times in our lives, in which we will be in a place that seems dark and lonely. For some, that moment may not be very long periods of time, but for others, the time in darkness may be for years. What I wanted to talk to you today about, is that our Savior knows who is in darkness, He is aware of us, and has a task for us to perform in order to get out.

 

In Matthew chapter 4, we know that the Savior, in the beginning of the chapter, is just coming off being tempted of the devil. Afterwards, Christ “dwelt in Capernaum,” (Matthew 4:12). Several verses later, speaking of the people who were around Him, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” (Matthew 4:16)

 

What was is about the Savior, that the people saw great light? It was the hope that Christ brought. Obviously He is the Son of God, but at first glance, people didn’t know that about this Man from Nazareth.

 

What really stands out about this particular scripture, are the passages just following it. The book says that Christ ventured to the shores of Galilee, and began preaching to the people, in particular, a group of fisherman. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  We all have read this passage thousands of times, or at least have heard it from our ward mission leader, attempting to motivate members to do missionary work. That being said, notice the next verse, and how it relates to verse 16, about seeing “great light.” “And they straightway left their nets, and followed him; And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20,22)

 

What motivates us to move, to get up, and to be better? Is it our significant other? Our parents? Though they will light the fire within us many times throughout our lives, it is the Savior of the world that will provide us to become better. In Him we see great light. However, even though He provides that light, that hope, it is up to us to take that next step.

 

 

When we see light in Christ, it is because we want to improve ourselves, to become more like Jesus Himself. That’s what Peter and the other fisherman saw in Jesus the moment they met Him. They may not have known, but in terms of spirituality, they were “people who sat in darkness,” and Christ was the answer.  We all are entitled, whether we’re members of the church or not, to receive an answer that Jesus can provide us with the happiness in this life, and that’s what Peter knew. When Christ them to follow Him, they didn’t just think about going, they didn’t say, “Hey Jesus, we’ll think about it then get back to you!” The scriptures uses the words straightway and immediately.

 

This gospel isn’t one for those who wait around, waiting for things to happen. It is for those who have hope in the Son of God, act, and have the faith that their life will improve.

 

Like I mentioned before, all of us will experience times of darkness, and for some of you, it may be happening right now. To all of us, because everyday can be one of new light, a new chance, and a fresh start. I testify that Jesus Christ is that great light, and His atonement can you bring you out of any darkness that you may sit in. He is the answer, the solution, and the way to eternal life. May we all have the courage to accept that light, and not just accept it, but follow it, until we become better people, and more like Christ.

Aaron Judge steals All-Star Week

In case you’ve been living under a rock the past several months, the New York Yankees have a rookie named Aaron Judge, who is taking the baseball world by storm.

 

This past week in Miami, Judge was the center of attention in the sports world. The 25 year old was the champion of the Home Run Derby on Monday, and then started in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

 

Judge, who is adopted, grew up in Linden, California, and was a standout in three sports. In football, Judge received scholarship offers from schools like Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA to play tight end. Ultimately, Judge chose baseball, and was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. However, Judge chose to attend Fresno State University.  Aaron played for the Bulldogs, and interestingly enough, won the college baseball Home Run Derby in 2012.

 

In 2013, Judge was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 32nd overall selection.

 

The man who stands at 6 foot 7 and weighs 280, has gained the notice from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “He is a tremendous talent on the field and really appealing off the field,” Manfred said to the Baseball Writers Association. Manfred said that Judge is the kind of talent “that could become the face of the game.”

 

Judge’s stats so far in the 2017 season, fully show that he can become the new face of baseball. Judge leads the majors in home runs (30), as well as placing in the top three in the AL in batting average (.329) and RBI’s (66).

 

Judge brings a swing, and a face, that the Yankees have been looking for, for a while. Since Derek Jeter retired in 2014, the franchise has been searching for a player that New York City could fall in love with. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2009, and has only won two since 2000. One thing as well that Judge brings to the Bronx bombers that has been missing, are home runs. The Yankees have been looking for someone with power for several years, in fact, New York has had only two players in the last five years to hit for more than 30 home runs in a season (Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez in 2015).

 

Not just do the Yankees need someone like Aaron Judge, but Major League Baseball as well. Even with players like Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the popularity of baseball has been declining, and lacks the excitement that the NFL and NBA brings. Judge, along with Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, have the opportunity to bring the excitement of baseball back to its rightful position in America. Judge and Bellinger represent the two largest cities in America, and similar to the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, can capture the nation with a thrilling home run race, with Bellinger just five homers short of Judge.