Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
– Isaiah 60:1-3 NASB
Centuries ahead of time, Isaiah is prophesying of Messiah (Christ) coming, saying “your light has come,” then prophesying of His rising from the dead, saying first “the glory of the Lord has risen upon you,” and then “the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.”
In the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – we read of Jesus’ generous ministry on earth and how it ended with humanity rejecting and crucifying Him. Then came the resurrection three days later…changing everything…forever!
The resurrected Jesus returned to heaven from whence He’d come. He returned to great heavenly fanfare and glory – though the powers of earth scarcely noticed. Yet some did notice, because they had been awakened to the relevance of God’s promises in the Scriptures. What God had promised repeatedly in the Old Testament writings, He was fulfilling in New Testament times. God was not just a promise maker – He was a promise keeper!
Throughout the book of Acts, Jesus’ glory from heaven is reflected in the lives of His disciples. Because Jesus rose from the dead, those who believed in Him rose from their lifelessness. Because He was light, those who believed in Him became reflected light.
“Darkness” is the metaphor that aptly captures the reality of existence without God. And man’s descent into depravity through the constant corruption of his soul makes for “deep darkness.” It was in the midst of this “deep darkness” that the light of His disciples appeared – a light that was the result of the Lord shining upon them.
Even today, the glory of the Lord shines brighter than ever from heaven. And we who trust Him reflect that glory the way that reflectors embedded in the pavement reflect the headlights that shine on them. We have no light of our own – our light is Christ!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
O Resurrected Lord, there is no dimming of Your light in this the 21st century! There is only the dimming of our faith. So we appeal to You now: restore our faith! Speak to us anew that we can trust you afresh…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.