Friday, July 20, 2018

Word for the day byChristisn Education Forum

Shine amidst the ashes
Isaiah 60:1-2
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you". (Isaiah 60:1)
 Isaiah spoke for the Lord to the people of Judah during the reigns of four of the kings of Judah. Isaiah warns the people that God will punish them if they keep on doing wicked things. However Isaiah also promises that God will comfort His people after punishing them if they repent. God wanted them to understand that idols have no power and that He alone is the true God. God promises a bright future for those who are faithful to Him.
Light makes all the difference: The returned exiles faced severe problems. Part of the reason was that they had allowed sin to pervert their mission as God's people. In chapter 60, the prophet renews the promises of a new day for the community of faith. "Arise, shine, for your light has come" is an appeal to Zion. This is not a mere admonition, but a word of power, which puts new life, a word of encouragement. Let your light shine for all the nations to see. The earth and its people are covered with darkness, but the glory of the Lord will shine from you (verse 2). Zion is to emit light, but it cannot now, as it had given itself up to sin. But there is a light, which will communicate itself to Zion. And this light is salvation. It is also glory, because, it not only dispels darkness, but sets itself in the place of darkness. Light is a symbol of God's presence, which brings deliverance and blessings. Glory of the Lord is a frequent Old Testament way of portraying the active presence of God among His people. God's words showed that He had decided to restore the covenant relationship with His people through God's grace and power. Isaiah wrote that Christ would give His redeemed people "a crown of beauty instead of ashes" and " a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61:3)
Shining in suffering: We love to shine amidst a circle of admirers. In life's odyssey, we never know, what tomorrow may bring, triumph in victory or sorrow in tragedy. Do we shine amidst ashes or sufferings with seemingly no end? Our light was not created by us, but by our awesome God who created us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says " we now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are fragile clay jars containing this great treasure." God can restore life, where there seems to be no life. God can renew hope, where there seems to be no hope. Our Heavenly Father has invited us to cast all our burdens upon Him (I Peter 5:7) and He also wants us to love Him by obeying all His commandments (John 14:15, 21,23). Then we can shine amidst the ashes.    '
Heavenly Father, help us to shine for you by loving you and obeying you in all circumstances. Amen.

The darkest night cannot hide the light from a single candle flame.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church