URC Daily Devotions: 3rd January

Isaiah 60: 1-6  

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

Jerusalem shines with God’s glory. I find is hard to read these words from Isaiah and not have the image of the Dome of the Rock come into my mind. (By Andrew Shiva & Wikipedia)
<![if !vml]><![endif]>The splendour of its golden dome against a bright blue cloudless sky, the sunlight reflecting from the dome, shining out brightly over the city, over the world.  For Isaiah, Jerusalem does not shine in her own right; she does not shine because of what her people have achieved or accomplished nor the splendour of the city; she shines because, as Isaiah has just conveyed to the people in the previous verse, ‘this is my covenant with them, says the Lord: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your children, or out of the mouths of your children’s children, says the Lord, from now on and for ever’ (Is 59.21). The light of God is reflected by the people of God. Like the Dome gleaming in the light of the newly risen sun, Jerusalem and the people of God shine with a beauty that is not their own.

As we enter a New Year custom and tradition encourage us to make New Year resolutions. All sorts of products will be on our shelves to try and help us get fit, lose weight, restore the balance in our lives. We may set ourselves targets – doing some volunteering, spending more time in study or prayer, set aside more of our financial resources to help others. Perhaps Isaiah offers us another possibility for a New Year’s resolution? To shine with the light of God; to live each day being attentive to the light of God which shines within us and from us, reflecting not our own righteousness, faithfulness or goodness but that of the God the Creator who loves us, the Son who walks with us and the Spirit who inspires us to share in God’s mission.

Prayer

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
God, whose light overcomes the darkness
of our world and our lives,
help us to be aware of your light in our lives.
Enable us to shine
as we reflect your light in our daily living
so that in all that we do
we point towards your love for the world
and your glory in creation.
Amen.

Today’s Writer

The Rev’d Lindsey Sanderson is the minister of the East Kilbride Joint Pastorate in Scotland.

Bible Version

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.