Epiphany of Our Lord, Year A

Inspired by Isaiah 60:1-6

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.  Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”  Isaiah 60:1-3 (NRSV)

There is much turmoil in the world, and many people are suffering.  Millions of people are touched by hunger, poverty, war, disease, exploitation, and countless other reasons to despair.  Sometimes it feels as though the misery is spreading, and the darkness is only growing darker.

But the thing about darkness is that it has no power of its own.  The only way to create darkness is to remove those things that create light.  Conversely, the tiniest glimmer of light can begin to illuminate the darkest room.

The way to defeat those elements that cause such suffering is to be a beacon of hope.  No one person can solve the ills of the world, but each and every one of us is capable of bringing hope to someone in need.  When the world’s darkness expects you to respond with vengeance, respond with forgiveness instead.  When the world’s darkness expects you to act in defensive self-interest, practice generosity instead.  When the world’s darkness expects you to be apathetic towards the suffering of those you can’t see, search out their stories and respond with compassion instead.  Darkness can only flourish in the absence of light, and despair can only grow in the absence of God’s love.

Have hope in the Lord.  Live with that hope.  Share that hope with others, and let the light of God’s radiant glory shine through you.

Let us pray.  Radiant God, the power of your grace can overcome all the world’s despair.  Shine in our lives, that we may be beacons of hope for those who are lost in the darkness.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.