Isa. 60: 1--6
  • It is so easy for us Christians to thrill to the sound of these words, knowing that our "light"-- Jesus Christ-- has come. We hear Jesus and His ministry in every phrase and rejoice in both its past and future promises. It is so easy for us Christians to miss the fact that these words are meant also for us. Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (1) Jesus told a parable about a lamp and a basket: Arise, [Christian, and] shine! Not in exultation over your own salvation; shine so that the glory of the LORD may be seen by other children of God, those "covered" by thick darkness (2), so that Nations shall come to [Christ's] light.... (3) Arise, Christian, and be the star that guides the way to a manger in a stable.

    • Star white, shining bright,
      blazing on a winter's night,
      pointing to the light.(1)
    Psa. 72: 1--7, 10--14

    As with the Prophet's words, we Christians-- so intent on reading Jesus into the passage-- fail to recognize that God has outlined our mission for us here. Yes, the prophecy of the Psalm pertains to Jesus, but we--the Church-- are the mouth, hands and feet of Christ in the world. These directives are our orders; this is our calling.

    And yet, we find that we cannot be obedient even in our own house. We, the Christian Church, upon whom the glory of the LORD has risen, have covered ourselves with the thick darkness of our fears and preferences.

    Arise, Christian! Shine! Do you see the analogy? The star rises, and shines its light equally, without preference or prejudice, on everyone: whether they believe in God or Jesus or not; whether they speak our language or not; whether they subscribe to our interpretation of Scripture or not; whether their clothing or skin is to our liking or not; whether they are attracted to the opposite sex or not; whether they have coveted, lied, stolen, killed or not; whether they hide their faces or turn and look up: the star shines on them all, equally, in love, mercy, justice and peace. The star does not take pleasure in its brilliance; the star shines, as it was created to do.

    Arise! Shine! For your light has risen upon you!

    Eph. 3: 1--12

    Paul, following Jesus, lived as an example for us to follow. He considered himself a "prisoner"; he allowed himself to be captured by "the light". We wish we could have an experience-- an epiphany-- such as he had on the way to Damascus. But our wishing is a denial of Scripture: upon us has the glory of the LORD... risen! We do not need to be knocked off a donkey (as some think Paul was); we need to be knocked "on our asses"!(2) We do not need to be blinded by the light; we need to Lift up [our] eyes and look around (Isa. 60: 4)! The light is shining on us, into us, already. [T]he mystery [has been] made known to [us] (3). What we need is to believe it!

    Arise, shine; for your light has come! [B]ecome a servant according to the gift of God's grace (7) and help make everyone see (9). For it is through the church [that] the wisdom of God... might now be made known... in accordance with the eternal purpose that [God] has(3) carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (10--11).

    Believe it, Christian! Accept what God tells you in the Bible! Arise, shine; for... the glory of the LORD has3 risen upon you!

    Mat. 2: 1--12

    Listen, Christian! Is this just a nice story to tell your children? Or are the Magi presented as witnesses to us? They saw his star at its rising, (9) have you? Are you looking? Up? With both eyes open?

    When the Magi set out, the star went ahead of them, (9) and they were wise enough to follow. Where are you, Christian? Are you on the way? The star has not stopped! It is still shining! Lift up your eyes and look around! See it, and follow!

    1. 1 Haiku poem by Phil Gilman. Please feel free to utilize anything from these pages; just give

    God the Glory, Praise and Thanks and me whatever credit may be due.

    2. 2 Perhaps this needs to be said in church.

    3. 3 Note: "has", not "will". This is accomplished fact. Let's start acting like we believe it!

    (comments to Phil at )