Sunday, January 6, 2008

Epiphany

Today's sermon text was Isaiah 60:1-6.

This reading clarifies today's theme, especially v. 1. Shining--God has come to us; we shine with the glory He gives to us! Verse 2--why do we need this light? "Thick darkness shall cover the earth...BUT the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (At this point in Isaiah, he prophesies more about hope.)

Remember that we sit in darkness too, apart from Christ. God gets upset, to say the very least, when anyone worships a god other than Him, be it Allah, Baal, or any other, man-made deity. Our sins and sinful nature hung Christ on the cross--and we sat in the darkness of our sin.

BUT God's glory came upon us; this is first a word of warning (darkness cannot coexist with light), but second a lesson (believe in the One who came with this glory so that we are made able to receive it). Now on to verse 3--this was never fulfilled in the earthly country of Israel. However, it was fulfilled in Christ, the Israel of one. People are running to Him so eagerly that their "daughters [are] carried on the hip" so all the kids can keep up.

Verses 5 and 6: incredible details about Christ--"wealth of the nations...multitude of camels...gold and frankincense." Our true wealth is the forgiveness of sins by Jesus Christ: you cannot out-sin this forgiveness (but don't put it to the test!).

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