Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking for the Light

          Where’s the light? Where’s the joy? There’s fighting and killing in Syria, Palestine, and Sudan. We’ve not fallen off the “fiscal cliff” but now it looks like there’s a danger that we might hit our heads on a “debt ceiling.” Where’s the light that Isaiah speaks of today? Where are the prophets like Isaiah to share the Good News with us?
          Where’s the reverence and joy of the magi when they first set their eyes on Jesus?
          The psalm today spoke of a king, a leader, whose focus was on justice and doing things right for the needy and the afflicted. Where are those leaders today? Where’s the light and joy?
          I know…none of this sounds very “spirit-lifting” does it? Winter has a way of doing that to us. There’s not enough light. There’s too many hours of darkness…and cold. And then there’s the news, not much joy or light there either. It’s all so depressing.
          And to top it all off so many folks have had their holidays disrupted with colds, flu, and a myriad of other ailments. Not much light and joy there either. How can there be light and joy when everything hurts?
          So, friends, can you help me out? Where’s the light? Where can we go to find the joy? Is there any help for us?
          Maybe that’s why we need to hear the words of Isaiah.
60 “Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
          There was darkness then but the prophet speaks of hope, speaks with a certainty that God’s glory will rise upon them, and us, even though the darkness covers the world now. God, our Lord, will bring light into the world.
          This light came into the world once and dwelled among us for a time. Our hope is that the Lord will return and again bring light into the world.
          In the meantime where do we find the light? Where do we find the joy that so many of us are looking for?
          Did you hear Paul’s words for us today? Listen to them again. “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
          It’s the church’s responsibility to bring the Message of the Good News to the world. I guess that means that you and I are to be the prophets who tell others about the light that is coming again to drive back the darkness that’s invaded our world.
          Some of us might be asking, “How are we to do this when we struggle ourselves to see the light or feel joy?” Friends, God has given each one of us grace-filled gifts that enable us to share the Good News. As Paul said it’s… “by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.” That power is available for you and me to access.
          God’s grace through the working of his Holy Spirit will help us see the light and bring his joy into this dark, bleak world with its cliffs and ceilings.
          So, the answer to the question where’s the light, where’s the joy, is that it’s right inside us. We each have the power to bring a little bit of light and joy into someone else’s life through the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in us. We just need to work together, holding each other up in prayer every day, coming together to worship and going into the world with God’s love and grace, trusting in God to be right there beside us as we do this work.
          Thanks be to God for his light-filled grace. Amen.

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