let there be light!
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 60
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. [Isaiah 60:1-3]
Isaiah is not just speaking about the “darkness’ (or blindness) that affects the people of Israel, there is a darkness that covers the whole earth, all people, all nations.
The whole world is stumbling in darkness apart from God, this is why the world is such a mess.
We need help, we need God’s help, we need God to step in with His light and life and truth, and rescue us!
Every person – from the east and the west – needs God’s light to shine on them.
I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 8:11]
God’s goal is to gather all people back to Himself, to restore His “every tribe and nation” family to Himself.
God is not just working to save a chosen few, related to Abraham by birth; He is Father to all who humble themselves and put their hope in Him [see Romans 4:12, 18, Galatians 3:6-9].
Jesus comes into the world as the light in the darkness, and He asserts His position over all people: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [Matthew 28:18-20]
Disciples of all nations!
Isaiah is describing the end of history as we know it, when God will finally put things to right.
John sees a similar vision in Revelation 21-22, where God provides all the light that we need [compare Isaiah 60:11, Isaiah 60:19-20 with Revelation 21:22-27].
Isaiah’s vision is the fulfillment of God’s good news plan announced in advance to Abraham to bless all nations through him.
This is why Jesus came, and this is why Jesus sends us out to our neighbours far and near – to bring light to the nations, that they too might be blessed!
Jesus is the light of the world [John 8:12], and when we reflect Him, we become light to the world too [Matthew 5:14].
Lord, I am not the light of the world, but Your light can shine through me. May I bring hope and vision and grace to others, as You have brought it to me, so that one day they may share in the feast with Abraham and me and You!