“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 chapter sixty
paints a picture of a people who,
Having neglected the vital relationship with God,
Have become weary, self-absorbed, bent over with cares.
Finally they say to themselves,
“Where is that God who used to be with us?“
God hears, says these are my people. Surely they will listen now,
And prepares a savior.
When the people straighten and look up,
God already has the savior ready to send.
For centuries Isaiah’s words have been acknowledged
To be speaking of the coming of Christ.
So again, I see a picture of my people,
who are now bent over, weary with self-absorption,
Troubled at the chasms that have grown up between us,
Searching for new ways to satisfy old needs that never go away.
And when, or if, we straighten, look up, and ask
“Does it have to be this way?
Is there not a better way?”
God has already prepared the answer.
He doesn’t ask us to return to our ancestor’s way of living,
Or an antiquated philosophy –
He calls us to return to his presence.
In doing so, we turn from the negative and begin the journey to wholeness.
This time of year most of our moods lighten in the festivity.
Some of us hide behind preparing the season for everyone else,
Hoping for a different outcome that will be more satisfying this year,
While others truly find momentary fulfilment in the preparation.
We all hope to carry the spirit with us into the next year –
But too often when the season is over, the joy goes with it.
So why don’t try something new – look up!
God is waiting for our remembering – he has already sent the answer.
Ask, “Didn’t there used to be a different way?”
Let God remind us there is joy in believing he is with us.
Let God remind us he wants to live in us and help carry the load.
Let God remind us when we turn around to look for him,
He is already standing there, his face toward us.
Let God remind us of the name of Jesus, Emmanuel – God with us.
He has already sent a savior,
But we call it Christmas.