Rise up! Your Light Has Come

Feast of the Epiphany

Today the church in the United States celebrates the manifestation of God come to earth. Today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 2:1–12)  is the story of the magi, who recognized Jesus as King of the Jews. The Jews were suspicious of magi, because they were sorcerers, yet God chose to reveal himself to them. The magi made sacrifices to seek him, and gave him gifts of gold (for his kingship), frankincense (for his priesthood), and myrrh (foreshadowing his death). After their encounter with the Christ child, the magi went home by a different route.

Question of the Day

Do you recognize the Christ child? Will you sacrifice to seek him? What gift will you bring to welcome him? How will an encounter with God’s gift of his Son change your route?

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 60

Arise! Shine, for your light has come,
the glory of the LORD has dawned upon you.

Though darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds, the peoples,
Upon you the LORD will dawn,
and over you his glory will be seen.

Nations shall walk by your light,
kings by the radiance of your dawning.

Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you—
Your sons from afar,
your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall see and be radiant,
your heart shall throb and overflow.
For the riches of the sea shall be poured out before you,
the wealth of nations shall come to you.

Caravans of camels shall cover you,
dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and heralding the praises of the LORD.

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered for you,
the rams of Nebaioth shall serve your needs;
They will be acceptable offerings on my altar,
and I will glorify my glorious house.

Who are these that fly along like a cloud,
like doves to their cotes?

The vessels of the coastlands are gathering,
with the ships of Tarshish in the lead,
To bring your children from afar,
their silver and gold with them—
For the name of the LORD, your God,
for the Holy One of Israel who has glorified you.

Foreigners shall rebuild your walls,
their kings shall minister to you;
Though in my wrath I struck you,
yet in my good will I have shown you mercy.

Your gates shall stand open constantly;
day and night they shall not be closed
So that they may bring you the wealth of nations,
with their kings in the vanguard.

For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you shall perish;
such nations shall be utterly destroyed!

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you—
the juniper, the fir, and the cypress all together—
To bring beauty to my sanctuary,
and glory to the place where I stand.

The children of your oppressors shall come,
bowing before you;
All those who despised you,
shall bow low at your feet.
They shall call you “City of the LORD,”
“Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

No longer forsaken and hated,
with no one passing through,
Now I will make you the pride of the ages,
a joy from generation to generation.

You shall suck the milk of nations,
and be nursed at royal breasts;
And you shall know that I, the LORD, am your savior,
your redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
instead of iron I will bring silver;
Instead of wood, bronze;
instead of stones, iron.
I will appoint peace your governor,
and justice your ruler.

No longer shall violence be heard of in your land,
or plunder and ruin within your borders.
You shall call your walls “Salvation”
and your gates “Praise.”

 No longer shall the sun
be your light by day,
Nor shall the brightness of the moon
give you light by night;
Rather, the LORD will be your light forever,
your God will be your glory.

No longer will your sun set,
or your moon wane;
For the LORD will be your light forever,
and the days of your grieving will be over.

Your people will all be just;
for all time they will possess the land;
They are the shoot that I planted,
the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.

The least one shall become a clan,
the smallest, a mighty nation;
I, the LORD, will swiftly accomplish
these things when the time comes.

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