Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Favorite

One of my favorite passages from Isaiah is often read during these Advent days.  It comes from the beginning of the 60th chapter and reads, "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  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."  If that Word from the Lord did not stir those ancient Hebrew exiles in Babylon, they could not be stirred.  It is a Word filled with such hope and such overwhelming assurance.  Who can hear such words and not find themselves filled with a sense of expectancy?  Who can hear these words and not start looking for God to act?
I have read this passage many times from the pulpit during the Advent season.  I was never sure if those who heard caught the hope that was being proclaimed, but I could never read it without feeling that something important was being read to the people of God.  We all sit in our own darkness.  If we are not in the present moment, we have been in it.  And, if we are not in the darkness in the present moment, it is likely that we will find ourselves in its dark shadows before it is all said and done.  The darkness seems to be a part of the human situation.  It can be described in a thousand different ways.  Perhaps, this is why it was something I always found it to be an important Word from God for reading.
As we sit in our own darkness, it is powerful to know that already our light has come.  But, it is not just any light.  It is one that can only be described as the glory of the Lord.  And even though we cannot see a foot in front of us, we can arise with hope because He is present with us.  He has come to take us from the darkness into a life where we can see that the light of the Lord has indeed risen upon us. The darkness is never forever.  The light of the Lord, the glory of the Lord is forever and eternal.  It is always coming, always rising, always shining.  Not seeing it in a moment does not change the reality of it breaking in upon us.   Just wait.  Keep looking.  Live hoping.

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