Reading: Isaiah 60: 1-6
At times, things can seem dark. For individuals, sudden and unexpected loss can make the world heavy and can make it hard to get through the day to day. And at times, even the normal day to day life can be a bit hard at times. One only has to spend a little time watching or listening to the news to develop a sense that the world is bleak and gloomy. Story after story brings more bad news. This was the feel of the times into which Isaiah writes. The exiles have been gone so long it seems like they will never return. Things in Jerusalem have continued to erode – the walls, the food, the hope, …
Isaiah opens this writing with hope – glorious hope – “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you”. These words contain much hope. God is returning! Into all of this darkness comes the Lord Almighty. It is such good news that Isaiah repeats it again in the next verse. He goes on to write of the return of sons and daughters from exile. Then he writes of how other nations will see the glory of God in Israel and will come with camels, gold, and incense. Lots of good news is on the way! Praise the Lord!
Within this chapter of joy for Israel, we too can find hope in our day to day. If we are in the midst of a difficult time, like Israel was, it can feel like God is not there or is distant at best. The good news is for us too – we too can find strength and hope in God. If we seek Him, we will know God’s presence, for God is always near. For those not dealing with a personal trial, may we arise and shine forth the glory of the Lord, for all the world to see. May the light shine so that all may be drawn to the Lord.