Reflections: January 7, 2021
Thursday after the Epiphany
By William K. Stottlemyer
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Our world is filled with an ever-present darkness. In the winter months we can see it quite clearly. The evenings are longer, the days are shorter, and the sunshine seems feeble. Days are filled with darkness, and the life of the world is dormant. Many people have a problem during these months. The lack of light causes us to grow weary; we become sad and even depressed. It seems to us as if the darkness is winning, and there is nothing we can do to change it.
This darkness mirrors the life of man. Our lives are filled with selfish desires, wicked thoughts, harmful words, and horrible deeds. Our world loves the darkness. We love the darkness. We think that we will be safe in the darkness because we can do what we want with no one ever knowing. This is sin. It is wrong. It is a thick darkness that we cannot remove from ourselves, and it will lead to death, to an eternal darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
But have you ever noticed how the image of light fills the pages of Holy Scripture? From the very beginning of creation, our heavenly Father has chosen to reveal Himself to us in the glorious light of truth. This light sets itself apart from the darkness. The darkness cannot overcome the light. It is the true light of man. No matter how little light there is in this world of darkness, it always illuminates and drives out the darkness. God's light reveals everything.
In the words of Holy Scripture you have been given the Law to show you your sin. Confess it, and then receive the light of God's everlasting forgiveness. Your light has come. Jesus has taken your place on the Cross. He suffered and died so that your sins might be forgiven. He rose from the dead so that you might receive the glory of the Lord.
So arise and shine daily, for your light has come to you in your Baptism. Shine forth with the light of Christ. Live so that all might see Christ in you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the brightness of Thy glory may shine forth upon us and that the light of Thy light, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, may establish the hearts of all that have been born anew by Thy grace; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen. (The Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America, The Lutheran Liturgy [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House], 246.)
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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