“Arise, shine; for your light has come”

“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”  

(Isaiah 60:1)

"Arise Shine For Your Light Has Come" by Jeannette Kuvin Oren

Today we celebrate the feast of The Epiphany.  It is the day when Christ is manifest to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi.  This is wonderful news.   But even as the Magi were drawn to follow the star that set out before them, that took them to new and distant lands on their great journey which lead them to the redeemer of the world, we are irresistibly pulled into a new state of being as we acknowledge and praise our newborn redeemer.

Let us not launch down the path of debating about how we know that there were three wise men (we don’t), or that they were kings (we don’t know that they were royalty at all, really), or even exactly from which precise part of the world they travelled–all of which scientists and theologians have debated and researched for over 2,000 years.  No, instead these beautiful words from Isaiah 60:1, which are a portion of the larger pericope (Isaiah 60:1-6) from the Hebrew scriptures set aside for today deserve our attention this Epiphany.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

As Christ is born into the world for us, as the savior of the world has come, we, like the Magi, are called in joyful exuberance not to sit idly by as those watching a parade, waving to the colorful festival passing in front of us.  No, we are not to remain as passive spectators of this amazing life-changing and life-giving action on the part of our God.  Instead, we are urged to movement and action with two simple words:  “Arise, shine.”  We are lovingly ordered to move from the darkness in which we have been dwelling and let the light of God that lives within each of us shine forth brightly.  The glory of God has broken forth and now bathes us with the divine light of our creator.

How do we show forth that light that now shines in us, that has risen for us and illumines our souls, our actions as Christians?  How would anyone who encounters us see the light of Christ shining through us out into the world?  How in our lives, in our faith, in what we do and who we are in the world show that we have leapt from the sidelines?

As this new year begins, may we broadcast to the weary world–in little and small ways…in large and thunderous ways–let us show a world that is covered in darkness, which is yearning to be invited into the light, that we have arisen and are active, shining examples of God’s love for God’s creation.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Arise, shine; for your light has come”

  1. Peter Spalding says:

    Mathew: I will never forget misspelling pericope as periscope at VTS. But a good analogy perhaps.
    Once again you have the illuminated scripture with idea that we are not spectators at a parade but participants at the heaqd of the parade.
    Cheeers, Peter

  2. Noell Sottile says:

    Alleluia indeed! Thanks for this excellent Daily Cup. –Noell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s