For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples…
Read Isaiah 60:1-6
As I write this reflection we are concluding our Advent journey, preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas. We are looking forward to Epiphany, when the first Gentiles, the Magi from the East, gathered around Jesus. As a nation we have also just experienced the worst school tragedy in the history of the United States. It seems that this kind of tragedy happens over and over again in our country. Amid tears and mourning we are yearning for words that can help us make sense of one more tragic event in our nation. What does God have to say to us in the midst of celebration and tragedy?
It seems that the words of Isaiah 60 are the reality we are living with: For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. As a nation, as a people, we are covered by the thick darkness of evil. We are stunned that this kind of violence has happened again and we feel helpless. Together we are called to mourn with the people of Newtown Connecticut. Together God calls us to pray.
Isaiah 60 brings us a word of hope: Arise, shine; for your light has come. Unlike the people of Israel in Isaiah’s time, we know that the Light of Christ has already come into the world. We know that God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. We trust that God is holding the families of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We know that God is with us.
Isaiah 60 is calling us to arise and stand in the light of Christ’s peace. The Prince of Peace is here with the promise of hope. As the Magi were guided by the light of God’s star, let us too depend on God’s light to illuminate our path as peacemakers.
I pray God’s blessings of hope, peace and love as you enter a New Year,