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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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)

People are coming.

“Nations will be drawn to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

They’ll come from far away, they will bring children in their arms.

“The abundance of the sea.”

People are coming, they’re bringing their households, their treasures, because they see the goodness that can be found in your land.

So, what are we going to do? When these people come?

I mean, we kind of take that light for granted, “Oh of course, the light of God is on our nation. Where else would it be?” We’re the shining city on a hill. Of course people want to come here. To bring everything they have. Their children in arms.

So what are we going to do? What would a nation blessed by God do, when people came to the light?

There’s a choice to be made. Welcome the stranger or shun them. That’s it.

Welcome them, or “Yes, the light is here but it’s just for us. Get lost.” Embrace these families with children in arms, or rip those children away and destroy those families.

What is the choice for the people of the light, when others are not so fortunate?

Tough question, huh? Thank God Jesus is pretty clear on the answer. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

I mean, we can be people of the light and share that light with others, or we can try to keep it all to ourselves. Maybe hide it under a bushel.

Lord, remind us that we are people of the light and our obligation is to share it. Help us to remember that “Welcome strangers” is not just a suggestion but our commission as Christians. Amen.

Written by Rob Koon, Coordinator of Fine Arts

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