1 Stand up, be light; because your light has come, and the glory of Yahveh has shown upon you. 2 Watch, because darkness will cover the land, and thick darkness the peoples; but Yahveh will shine upon you, and his glory will appear upon you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they are all gathering together, they come to you; your sons will come from a distance, and your daughters will be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5 Then you will see and be radiant; your heart will open wide and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea will fall upon you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
Centuries before Jesus challenged his followers to be light in their dark world, that same challenge came from the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah’s time, and in Jesus’ time, and in our time, we are tempted to excuse ourselves from this challenge because there is so much evil and darkness, what difference can we make. But the challenge is from God, and because he gives it, we know it is possible. No matter how dark the time, no matter how deep sin is in society, no matter how much crime is embedded in the culture, God’s challenge to his people is: “be light.”
The promise that comes with the challenge is that if we dare to be the light, the nations who walk in darkness will come to us. No matter how wrong our society becomes, there will always be a hunger and thirst for the right. We must be the right for our society to see.
LORD, show us how to shine. Teach us how to display your righteousness in our dark time.