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 (NIV)
O Dayspring, O Sun of Justice, you have set our hearts ablaze with the light of your message of hope, reconciliation, and peace. Help us to shine that light into our dark world. Help us to look for signs of that light.
Death and the fear of death surround us as the coronavirus spreads from China and into many nations around the world. But the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5). In Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, a restaurant owner named Li Bo spent the Lunar New Year packing boxed lunches for medical workers in the local hospital, despite his fears that his restaurant will go bankrupt due to the city shutdown. Help us to look for the light, O God.
Anger and distrust of the “other” runs rampant in our world as populist movements grow strong and suffering people blame the most vulnerable among them for their ill fortune. But the Lord is our light and our salvation; whom shall we fear (Psalm 27:1)? As we recognize the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Holocaust concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, we hear stories of hope from survivors like Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, whose musical talent helped her to survive as a prisoner and later thrive as a founding member of the English Chamber Orchestra. Help us to remember the light, O God.
Evidence of human impact on our climate continues to grow as ‘extreme’ weather becomes the norm in countries around the world. Emergency workers in Australia continue to battle bushfires across the country and respond to damaging hail and rainstorms in places like Canberra and Melbourne. But God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). People of good will across the globe continue to work for solutions, like the firm Portal Forest Estates, which has been planting trees in Ghana since 2000 to provide a balance between conservation and manufacturing for economic growth. Help us to be the light, O God.
Jesus told us, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14).” Give us hearts and minds, hands and voices, to take up that call and that promise. Rekindle the light of hope in us. Send us out to look for places of light, remember examples of light, and be sources of light to a dark and hurting world.