Friday, January 04, 2013

How to be a reflector

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 60:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "For behold the darkness shall cover the earth
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you
And His glory will be seen upon you." Isaiah 60:2

We have just come through a season where thousands of Christmas lights made darkness a festival. As, one by one, these lights go out for the season, the darkness seems even darker than it did before the lights came on. That kind of opaque darkness is what Isaiah describes:
"For behold darkness shall cover the earth
And deep darkness the people."
One thing breaks the sense of despair and hopelessness this darkness brings;
"But the Lord will arise over you
And His glory will be seen upon you."

No doubt Isaiah's words brought to his hearers' minds a time when God's glory had been upon Israel literally as a cloud hovering over them by day, a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 16:7,10). Perhaps they thought too of when God revealed His glory on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:17), in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34), and at the dedication of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8:11).

That glory came as a person in Jesus: "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12).

After Jesus had ascended to heaven, Stephen saw Jesus' glorified heavenly state (Acts 7:55).

The exciting thing is that we ourselves, earthbound as we are, can be vessels of that glory: "But we, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image form glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

"Beholding as in a mirror connotes 'reflecting' as well as 'looking into.' As we behold the glory of the Lord we are continually transformed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord. We then, with ever increasing glory reflect what we behold" - Footnote to 2 Corinthians 3:18, New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1614.

In other words we become like what we gaze at, meditate on, ponder, and try to be like.

The earth around us may be dark—not only physically but also emotionally and morally. We may feel small and inadequate to make a difference. But the thickness of that darkness makes even the smallest light visible. Let's light up that darkness around us today with the reflection of Jesus!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You are an impossible act to follow! Would You, by the Holy Spirit, work in me the will and the way to emulate You. I want Your glory to be reflected in and seen upon me. Amen.

MORE: Handel's Messiah Texts
George Frederick Handel used Isaiah 60:2-3 from today's reading in his his oratorio Messiah. Our Bible readings this year will bring us face to face with all the Bible passages he used in that great composition. This is Chorus 10 "For Behold Darkness Shall Cover the Earth,"performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.

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