Monday, December 29, 2008

Rise and Shine it's Epiphany Isaiah 60:1-9

Epiphany is a season of light in the church. Many churches will start this season by hearing Isaiah's 2500 year-old wake up call for the nation of Israel. He told them to rise and shine.

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you. Isaiah 60:1-2 NRSV
Isaiah's call is good for our church and all churches this year. In the winter, especially in the cold north, we're tempted just to pull up the covers and hunker down against the dark and cold. We shut out the world as we try to insulate ourselves against the cold and darkness. We hold the light of Christ tight to ourselves. Isaiah's wake up call for us is to rise and shine in God's light. Put the light of Christ up high for all to see. Jesus is the source of our hope and light; but we can never claim that he was sent just for us. Jesus comes to shine in every dark place and onto every broken person not just among those who know him already.

Our world is full of darkness. Jesus comes as light for a world that isn't and will never be ready for him. He comes for a world that is broken and that needs him. Chris­ti­na Ros­set­ti wrote in the hymn In the Bleak Midwinter

Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the light and we bless the world when we give His light away.

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