“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” – Isaiah 60:1-3
As we head into Halloween “season” and prepare for Light Night events all around the valley in our homes, this passage from Isaiah 60 has been “haunting” me. I heard a teaching on this Scripture at Foursquare Connection, our denomination’s leadership convention, back in May.
The speaker shared a few things that night that stuck with me. First, when the glory of God comes, it’s inescapable and it brings with it a radiance that is contagious. However when the light of God (the glory of God) rises upon the darkness, we (God’s people) are responsible to act, to “arise.”
I realized in reading this again that “Arise” is a command. When we understand that Isaiah is implying a commanding “you,” these verses take on a different tone.
“(YOU) Arise, shine, for YOUR light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon YOU. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon YOU and his glory will be seen upon YOU. And nations shall come to YOUR light, and kings to the brightness of YOUR rising.”
Obviously the emphasis here is mine, but can you hear it? WE must respond. God has sent his glory, his Son, Jesus, and now His Holy Spirit, to lead us, guide us and direct us. WE must RISE. WE are his light on this earth. WE must shine… but how?
It was a powerful moment for me sitting with the leaders of our movement from all around the world hearing a word about the light of God and what it does… which Isaiah continues to write in verses 4 and 5:
“Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.”
Isaiah says we’ve got to lift up our eyes!! Get your heads out of the sand (because, let’s face it, we live in a desert), take a look around! The glory of God is here! Once we see it, then a few things are going to happen according verse 5:
we will be radiant
we will “thrill and exult”
the abundance of the sea/wealth of nations shall come to you
I think of Moses’ encounter with God on the mountain. When Moses came down he glowed with the glory of God. God’s glory, his light, is contagious.
When we encounter God, we cannot help but “thrill and exult” in worship of Him.
And the last part I found interesting… it’s not always about financial wealth or abundance, though that was certainly part of Isaiah’s prophecy for Jerusalem. The wealth of a nation or any organization is not in its property or its stuff. Any good leadership program or management book will tell you the same… the true value of any entity is the people that are a part of it.
When we reflect God’s light, when we “arise” and “shine,” we attract the “wealth of nations”… people. The people God wants to have relationship with, to be with, just like He is with us.
HE is here every week with us in worship as a church.
HE was with the leaders of our denomination as we sought the Lord together back in May. HE is with His people around the world, His church, helping us in reaching the lost for His glory.
HE is with us each day as we pray to him for help, as we sing to him in our cars, even when we are ignoring him when we sin and mess up. We just got to pull our heads out… of the sand ;-)
Henri Nouwen said: “When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant.”
If we want to see Christ in our city, we must bring the light He has already put in us.
Maybe you’re not feeling it, maybe you’re not sure if you have this light, and maybe you feel like your light is a flickering flame about to be snuffed out by this world.
Come join the people of God as we seek the true Light in worship and prayer for our church, our city and even for ourselves that our light would shine because we have encountered Him.
- Pastor Andy -
AWAKEN | Light is Friday, October 23rd at 7pm