Greeting to those who need, and share, the light of Jesus!
Thursday January 6, 2022 was the Christian holiday of Epiphany. Epiphany means appearance or manifestation, especially of a divine being. The holiday of Epiphany is a celebration of when the three wise men followed a star to visit Jesus, the newborn king of the Jews. The appearance of Jesus to the Gentile wise men is God’s reminder that God is for all people, not only one select group of people.
The prophet Isaiah reminded the Jewish nation that the Lord coming to their nation of people was a gift they were called to share with all the nations of the world.
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.
For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.
2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth,
but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.
3 All nations will come to your light;
mighty kings will come to see your radiance. (Isaiah 60)
As I reflect on this scripture an epiphany of sorts comes to me. Epiphany also means, “a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.” The name “Jerusalem” in our scripture text could be replaced with “East Zorra Mennonite Church”. The glory and light of the Lord has certainly shone on us! We have experienced God’s goodness and light in many ways: in the Live Nativity experience 3 weeks ago; in another financial surplus that will be reported in this letter; through the caring and compassion we have demonstrated to each other in times of recent illness, pain, and grief. We have received much from the Lord, and we therefore have much for share and shine forth.
Yet darkness continues in various forms today as it did in the days of Isaiah. Injustice, prejudice, suspicion of the other, hate, war, sickness, pain, depression, and other forms of mental anguish…and a continuing Covid pandemic and all its difficult effects. Sometimes in the darkness of all this it is hard to see the light. I invite us to arise and look to the light of Jesus that continues to shine on us, even through the darkness. The Lord’s light is a light that shines to dispel the darkness and open a way though it.
By God’s grace may we receive the light, live in the light, and shine the light of Jesus through our words and action. If we do, those among us suffering, and those around us living in fear, will see the light, be drawn to the light and come to experience the light that is Jesus. An “epiphany” will come to them that has potential to transform lives!
“Arise, East Zorra! Let your light shine for all to see.”