Going Deeper 1/1/2019

The first reading for Epiphany... 

Isaiah 60:1-6   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.  Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.  Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.  Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

 

This part of Isaiah is filled with stirring promises addressed to dispirited people, to those whose promised return from the long exile in Babylon has not lived up to expectations.  These are people confused and battered and baffled.  They feel lost in the dark.  They were lost in the dark.

 

In truth, we have all been lost in the dark, and at times the darkness still asserts itself.  This darkness may come from within, from our awareness of our own brokenness and struggles with sin.  This darkness may also come from without, from our awareness of the brokenness of the world all around us.  This is a thick and pervasive darkness, and it has covered the whole earth and its people.  At times it seems hopeless.

 

But this is an Epiphany text, a scripture which points to the fact-- the truth-- that the Light has come, that the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.  Jesus is the Light of the world, as John proclaims at the start of his Gospel: What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. ...  And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.

 

Yes, there are times when we continue to encounter the darkness, but we do not dwell on or in darkness, but in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth.

 

Perhaps a poem I wrote a long time ago might express this truth in a way that connects with you...

 

SIGHT

You’ve closed your eyes...

How can you see?

There’s nothing to be found,

Darkness all around.

Only loneliness.  Only strife.

Not knowing the way you lost your life.

 

 

You’ve closed your heart...

How can you feel?

All has been lost, all is in vain.

All is the cost, nothing the gain.

We all must pay.  We all must die.

With nothing left, we break down and cry.

 

But now dawns a Light, now breaks a new day.

Be done with the fight and follow the Way.

The end of the night is within your sight,

And “grace” is all you need say.

 

 

The

Light

is the

One

Who lived after death

Who fought for us all

to

His

Final

b

r

e

a

t

h

 

 

Now open your eyes...

What do you see?

A much better way for your life to be.

The battle is over, the victory won,

Because of the death of the innocent One,

Because of the life of God’s only Son!

 

With You in His Light,

Mark