January 5, 2022
1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come.
6 Herds of camels will cover your land,
young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
bearing gold and incense
and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.
I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday. He must have been reading this text as well. Asking how things are going for him and he responded, “There may be troubles in the world, but God is on the throne and all will be right and good.” Not some façade he puts on, but he sees God at work in the midst of the troubles of the world.
Isaiah says to Arise, shine. But not because everything in the world is already in order. There is darkness over the people. When we see the sons and daughters coming from far away, it means they are not now with us. Isaiah brings the words in the midst of exile and separation. And he offers them with the certain hope that God is with them.
We sit in this season of Epiphany; tomorrow being the actual day of Epiphany. Not just the celebration of wise men or kings. Not the offering of gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Those take place. But it is the showing to all that Jesus is the king. Already as the two-year-old boy he is the king. Later in the gospels he lives as the king, even though others do not recognize him as such. The one Pilate questions as King of the Jews.
We celebrate that Jesus is already on the throne, even when we see that not all bow to his presence in our lives. We see that Jesus is already the king of all creation, even though the complete recognition of this by all is yet to come. Even as we see illness and fear around us we know that Jesus has already taken the throne of all the universe as King of kings and Lord of lords. While many will not declare it yet, it is true now and always. We rejoice as we see the glory of the Lord rising upon us all.
Song – What the Lord Has Done in Me
Almighty Lord God, you gave your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the light of the world: We praise and magnify your holy name that in him you have revealed the wonder of your saving love to all people. With those of old who brought their tribute to his feet, confessing him as King of heaven and earth, we now present the worship of our grateful hearts asking you to give us grace to give ourselves to you, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.