Take a few minutes to push the “pause” button on whatever is going on around you and be still with God.
Isaiah 60:1-6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.
We understand this light not as something physical, but spiritual. Light in the sense that now we can see clearly. God is a light in a darkened “spiritual world.” CS Lewis wrote,
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
One of the most famous moments of Margaret Thatcher’s time as prime minister was her last time being questioned by the UK Parliament. She was being criticized by an opposition member about how the gap between wealthy people and poor people had widened. She responded,
“What the honorable member is saying is that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich,” she argued on November 22, 1990. She added: “So long as the gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer. You do not create wealth and opportunity that way. You do not create a property-owning democracy that way.”
As Christians, we believe that the kingdom of God is the pearl of great price, it is the treasure hidden in the field. For that pearl or treasure, we would give up all worldly possessions in order to obtain it. Thatcher didn’t have a spiritual kingdom in mind. In the Kingdom of God, there doesn’t have to be poor…there is only abundance for all people… there is an abundance of God’s provision for all people who, in humility, give up all things.
We can get stuck on worldly possessions, like wealth, power, and influence, but when we are possessed by Christ and his light, we see clearly the benefits of being in God’s covenant family.
Gracious God, give us a light of understanding. Help us to see clearly those things which are truly valuable in this world. Amen
Go with God!