The text that spoke to me this week was from Isaiah 60:
1 Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.
2 Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the Lord will shine upon you;
God’s glory will appear over you.
3 Nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning radiance.
4 Lift up your eyes and look all around:
they are all gathered; they have come to you.
Your sons will come from far away,
and your daughters on caregivers’ hips.
5 Then you will see and be radiant;
your heart will tremble and open wide,
because the sea’s abundance will be turned over to you;
the nations’ wealth will come to you.
6 Countless camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
They will all come from Sheba,
carrying gold and incense,
proclaiming the Lord’s praises.
The passage is full of words that get robbed for Youth Conferences, all with exclamation points! (You know: “Shine!” “Arise!” “Look!” “Radiance!”) But the emphasis is not on what we could do, but on our acknowledging what God has already DONE.
The Promised One has come. Darkness is defeated once for all. And our sons and daughters, in fact, all peoples of the earth gather to join us in praise to God. It is a jubilant, refreshed people who can sing with such abandon and joy. The deep darkness that made it seem like Narnia with “all winter and never Christmas” has been remolded into a place of warmth, light and joy.
I’m not someone who loves the darkness of winter. I don’t mind the cold and the wintry weather, but the short, dark days get to me. This passage points me back past situational darkness to the reality of the Light, Hope and Love who lives within me. And that reality, despite my failings and frustrations, leaks out with little pinpricks of joy all over the place.
God reminds me, “Your Light has come…” And I remember that I am truly standing in God’s Marvelous Light.