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. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall be acceptable on my altar, and I will glorify my glorious house. Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows? For the coastlands shall wait for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from far away, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. [NRSV]
A prophetic word from Isaiah reminding and foretelling of God’s Light and Hope is coming.
- The image of nursing mothers
- A radiant light in the darkness
- Camels, Doves, and Flocks
- some come bringing God and Frankincense
- they will come from far away lands, from the ends of the earth
- all because of the Glory of God’s works, the Holy One of Israel.
This is a prophecy calling that we see fulfilled
- in the night sky as shepherds watch their flocks by night,
- The Glory of the Lord is shone in the darkness to the least, the last and the lost.
- The Nations shall bring gifts of Gold and incense, Frankincense to Glorify my Host, My House
700 Years priory to the Birth of Jesus, Isaiah is preparing the people in darkness to look for a great and glorious light.
- You and I are those who know the whole story.
- We know what the Light of the World is all about
- We look at the darkness of sin, lies, deceptions, divisions, and corruption and we see the power of REVERSAL
Matthew 2: 6-16
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. [NRSA]
- Where we see DARKNESS, DEATH, SIN, and BROKENESS
- We have the Glory of the Heavenly HOST singing and working with us.
- Where we see 1 Night/day, 1 child/person, 1 church, our witness is intended for a world of folks struggling in darkness.
- We have the GIFTS of the WORLD’s wealth to be used for GOOD
- Where the are those working against us, God has another plan, another way
- Our paths may differ from our expectations, but God has GOOD, HOPE, Light, LIfe for us
Arise, God’s Light is Shining through US!
- We were not in the fields
- We didn’t travel from far countries
- We didn’t look into the manger that night
- We can see the power the darkness in our world
- We can see the ends of the earth on our screens
- We can see the fulfilling of God’s continuing Story, shining and giving light in a world filled with politics, corruption, and division.
- We have all the pieces and see how God fits them together throughout time for times like the days and nights we living through now.
This the day of Hope!
- What the world intends for evil, God brings new life.
- This is our mission, this is our calling, this is our charge, this is our responsibility
- Where there is darkness, we shine the light of christ
- Where there is not enough, we bring the wealth to the feet of Jesus
- Where there are reasons to fight among ourselves God way will not be stopped, the question is will we be looking for worship with sheep,
- Will we be those who following the political voice, or follow the songs of angels and the prayers of wisemen.