From the Community Lay Director

 
– – January 5, 2020 – –

SHINE, JESUS, SHINE!

Lord, the light of Your love is shining, in the midst of darkness shining,Jesus, light of the world shine upon us, set us free by the truth You now bring us, Shine on me, shine on me,

Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory, Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire, Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy, Send forth Your word,Lord, and let there be light!

Today we observe the holy day of Epiphany, remembering the Wise Men to the Christ Child and the giving of gifts to Him. It is the revelation of the Jewish Messiah to gentiles, with the modern day motto, WISE MEN (AND WOMEN) STILLL SEEK HIM. Epiphany is the season between January 6th and Ash Wednesdaym the beginning of the Season of Lent. The symbols for this season are the star of Bethlehem and the gifts of the wise men, both of which we have today.

I want to focus on the Old Testament lesson for this day, from the 60th chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, which is a passage about hope and transformation. So many people have said that this year 2020 is about hope in the Lord and about His light. On New Years Eve in Atlanta GA, 65,00o young adults gathered for a service of hope. A key part of the service was receiving a flame lit in the empty tomb in Jerusalem and carried to the service to show forth light to the world. At one point in the service there was not only the lantern with the flame but little lights all over that great stadium, showing that light destroys darkness.

Yes, there is great darkness in the land, and at times it seems the light of Christ is about to go out. As the prophecy says, a thick darkness covers the earth and its peoples. But the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light For those who can see it there is light in the middle of the darkness. For instance on New Years Eve there was not only the Atlanta GA gathering of young adults to worship our Lord but also one of the same size in Orlando FL, For those with eyes to see there is the encouragement of moves of God all over the place. As a poet wrote,’eyes made for glory soon discover Thee.”

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,From the shadows into Your radiance,By the Blood I may enter Your brightness, Search me, try me, consume all my darkness, Shine on me!

The Word tells us to rise and shine because God’s glory has risen upon us. The glorious star led the Magi to the Savior, and God sends us His light, His love, truth,and mercy to lead us to Him, Rise up from the darkness in your life, turn away from what would destroy you, turn around and come to the Light of the Lord. Wake up from slumber and be alive in the Lord. If we make one step toward Jesus, He runs toward us in mercy to heal, deliver,and restore us. The Light will shine on us and we will see life the way the Lord does, once we were blind but now we see clearly.

God’s glory is His manifest presence. The Word promises that as we rise out of our darkness and come to the Lord that His glory will rise on us. And like Moses who came down from the mountain after being with the Lord and radiated light so much that he had to veil his face, so we will reflect that glory around to others so they too can rise and shine. This light comes from God.It shines in the darkness,and the darkness will never put it out. Darkness cannot win against the Light, for one little candle can put away the darkness.Brothers and sisters, Jesus said that you are the light of the world. Don’t hide your light but shine it forth so others can see it and give glory to Jesus.

What is your light? It is the word of your testimony, what Jesus has done for you, it is the good works you do to bless others and honor Jesus, it is letting Jesus use your life to bless others, You have been rescued from the Kingdom of Darkness and brought into the kingdom of God’s own dear Son. Let your light shine You have been called as a witness of the goodness and mercy of Jesus, let it shine forth from your life! Your light will draw people to Jesus just as the star drew the Magi to the Christ Child.,Have this song in your heart, This little light of mine, I;m going to let it shine!
Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

As we gaze on Your Kingly brightness, so our faces display Your likeness, ever changing from glory to glory, mirrored here may our lives tell Your story,Shine on me, shine on me.

Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father’s glory, Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire, Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy, Send forth Your word,Lord, and let there be light!

De Colores!
Paul Beighley
Community Spiritual Director