Light to the Nations


This is the Third Sunday of Advent. Just a week and a few days until Christmas. Can you believe it?

Today we look at scripture from Isaiah…

Isaiah 42:1-9 (NRSV)   Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.

We looked at Isaiah yesterday and today feels like a continuation of that call. But today we are told that there will be a different kind of transformation coming…one that caters to those who have been bruised, those who have been put aside, to those who make themselves vulnerable.  We are called not just to be justice but to be light.  And light to others on top of that.

You are called to be light. To spread wherever you go.  What does it look like to be light in the midst of darkness?

Christina Cleveland recently blogged about how we too often lump Advent in with Christmas instead of looking at the darkness like Advent calls us to do.  In the darkness our job is to find that light.  You are light in the midst.

So here is a blessing for you this morning…

Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light

Blessed are you
who bear the light
in unbearable times,
who testify
to its endurance
amid the unendurable,
who bear witness
to its persistence
when everything seems
in shadow
and grief.

Blessed are you
in whom
the light lives,
in whom
the brightness blazes—
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith
in stubborn hope
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

– Jan Richardson

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