“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen over you.”
At this time of the year when the days are grey, light is short and we cope with the increasing cold, we shrink and settle into ourselves, become more concerned with our own appetites, staying warm, retaining energy. Isaiah’s words burst into our souls like the rays a summer sun. Just reading about God’s light and glory rising lifts my soul from its winter hibernation.
God does’t stop at our reaction to his light. “Lift your eyes round about, and see!” says the Lord. Sons and daughters return to their parents; there is reconciliation and prospering of families. And what’s this? Ships from far off come, foreigners come, and all who come have something to contribute to the riches of God’s kingdom. Above it all the city of Zion, the footstool of God, is made glorious:
“The Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
nor your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended.”
My prayer this Advent is to learn what it means to shine–to arise, to reflect God’s glory, to be compelling as he is compelling because it is he who is being compelling in me. (If that doesn’t make sense you might want to read my last blogpost.) To allow the brightness of Christ to bring me into his presence, to lift my eyes from my circumstances, to display that reflected glory to those all around me.
Lord, let our days of our mourning pass, let your glory shine so that I may arise and shine also. Come, Emmanuel, God with us. Come, Lord Jesus, let your glory be revealed. Amen.