January 3

Isaiah 60:1-6

“Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” vs. 3

When the people of Israel returned from exile the prophet was ecstatic. He believed with all his heart that this was a turning point, the dawn of a new age of prosperity, and that the kings of the nations would come with their treasures to Jerusalem. New trade routes would open and caravans from afar would find their way to the hill country of Judea. It was a radiant vision, one that found a home in the hearts of the people, and defined their identity as the people of God. The Church desperately needs a similar vision as we enter a new year still reeling from our Covid encounters. Some congregations are a shadow of their former selves and a few have closed their doors. Where once we were motivated by a spirit of optimism and hope, fear-mongers now spread doom and gloom. All that pessimism is not becoming for those who carry the light of Christ in their hearts. That’s just not who we are! Of course there will be tough times in the course of the years–that’s always how it’s been. In the midst of exile and repression the prophets continued to believe in a glorious future, and we are their progeny. The gift that we have in Christ is precious and eternal, and it will survive every pandemic and catastrophe. Times are changing but we are still the Light of the world.

Thought for the Day: What’s the biggest challenge for my congregation?

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