“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Shortly after World War I, Eugene Lockhart and Ernest Seitz collaborated to write a ballad called “The World Is waiting for a Sunrise.” The lyrics began, “My Dear One … Every rose is covered with dew; and while the world is waiting for the sunrise, in my heart is calling for you.” War-weary and spent, the nation—and the whole world—needed repair from the wounds of war.
Here in our beloved City of St. Louis, far from being rose-strewn, our recent past has seen parts of our city covered with ash, shattered windows and lives, violence, and destruction as protests of racial injustice escalated to capture the passion of some who were simply looking for a cause. As it was after W.W.I, our world, and especially those in the greater metropolitan area, are longing for a sunrise, a new day.
In Romans 8 the apostle Paul wrote, “For the creation waits with eager longing the revealing of the sons of God.” (vs. 19) Love was born at Christmas, and the world is longing to see love revealed in God’s people; longing to see brotherly love uniting all races and ethnicities; marriages reflecting the sacrificial love of Jesus for His Bride; families where respect and care for one another are practiced; love stretching beyond the walls of our homes and churches to show kindness and inclusiveness to those on the fringes of our community, peacemakers reaching out to reconcile in the name of Jesus.
While the world may not know it, they’re longing for the SONrise to shine into the darkness of their lives, warming their hard hearts and offering hope. Even the most despicable behavior is motivated by the need to be loved. Jesus came as a radiant light in the darkness. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world … let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) As all of creation awaits the dawning of a new day, we who are privileged to be called “the sons of God,” His Dear Ones, are challenged to move into the darkness where resentment, bitterness, anger, and mistrust lodge, so that the light of Jesus (made real in us) shines forth. The world is longing to see the dawning of Christ in you and me, shining “brighter and brighter until full day.” (Proverbs 4:18b)