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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | 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. (NRSV)

To read this now, in 2018, as with all passages of the Bible, I am left with hope. It continues to amaze me and encourage me that the Bible never becomes “outdated.” The exiles were returning to their land of Jerusalem with feelings of hopelessness, and here Isaiah tells them of the promise to come! The birth of the messiah brought monumental change when he came into the world, and he still continues to do so today, January 9, 2018! Jesus’ birth reminds us of that each year.

As 2018 starts, it is my hope and prayer that God’s message and promise holds true for each of us, just as it did for the exiles: “Arise, shine, for your light has come.” This is not old news but news that continues to ring true for the whole year.

Dear Lord, as each of us starts another year, another day, another gift from you, let us remember to say thank you. Your words are as true today as they were back then, your love never faltering, never swaying. Please bring your light into this world, which, with the passing of each year, more and more desperately needs to be reminded of the brightness of your dawn. I pray all of this in your Son Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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