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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Arise! Shine!

The appointed Old Testament lesson for Epiphany is Isaiah 60:1-6:
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm.
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah.  And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD."

Verse six is the obvious connection to the story of Epiphany.  The Magi, according to Matthew, brought gifts of gold, incense and myrrh to Jesus.  Jesus is the light of the world, and Isaiah's message is to all people in regards to the birth of Christ: Arise!  Your light has come.  The glory of the LORD rises upon you.

Despite the darkness in the world, God's glory is brighter and overcomes the darkness of sin and Satan.  When Christ comes again, everyone will see the light of his glory, and all will assemble and come to him.

The way I can apply this to me personally has to do with the fact that Christ has come, his light has dawned, and I am living in the reality of Christ's reign in me and power on this earth.  He has come, so I can arise and shine, and be his light in this world.  In a way, I as a Christian am kind of like a mirror, or the moon: I am not the source of light, but I can reflect it and shine in the darkness.  I have the privilege of showing Christ to those around me.

My nickname that I used at camp is Sonshine.  It fits with my sunny personality, but also my desire as a daughter of God to shine the light of his Son.  I chose a verse to go with my name, which is Matthew 5:14 and 16: "You are the light of the world...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Today, I am going to arise, and shine!

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