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.
Reflection by Janet Derby
A new year has begun, as well as a new decade. Everywhere are comments and summaries about the past year and decade. I’ve even been hearing a lot about Y2K and the non-event it was for some reason. I recall that our family had to forgo our annual post Christmas trip to Ohio because my husband had to be in town in case an IT disaster occurred when the clocks rolled to the year 2000.
What is it about the changing of a number that causes us to reflect and vow to change? Perhaps it is our need for the hope of a fresh start. Yet, we do not have to rely on clocks or calendars to give us a vision of a new world. Scripture is full of reminders like this one that God’s light is within us and can be used to gather communities together in peace. We can arise and shine each day of every year.
God of Hope and Light, Thank you for the dawning of each new day. Help us to shine your light and love into the dark corners of the world. Amen.