On 5 January 2020 Jonny led worship supported by Jacob and Amanda. Tim preached from Isiah 60 1:6
Have you ever felt like an outsider, not getting the joke. The magi were summoned as outsiders . They were invited to celebrate the light that had come into the world. By the time that Matthew is writing the story of the magi, the message of Christ is being broadcast around the known world. Jesus is the light of the world that has come amongst us. The nations will come to be included in the blessing. It comes at a time when people are struggling And Isiah speaks into this darkness .
The cloud over the people reflects the separation of the people from Israel. The things going on in the world seems to reflect the similar situation. We’ve put away the lights and January often feels dark in any case.
But remember what we celebrate at Christmas.
For a time it would be pitch dark in the lower regions of Jerusalem but the temples where higher on the hill and lit first and last at sunrise and sunset.
This part seems to have been written as the people are returning to a broken Jerusalem.aybe their hopes hadn’t been fulfilled in the return so the prophet looked forward to a time of light.
Matthew describes Jesus as God with us Emmanuel! It’s no accident that the wise men were drawn by the light of a star.
Johns gospel reflects that in Jesus was life and that in Him was light for all.
Imagine that it is possible to move from darkness into light. If we follow Jesus there is no need for us to stay in darkness we can have the light of life.
Light drAws people in. The Old Testament says that when god returns it will be for the benefit of all peoples. We see this in the passage today. People coming to learn rather than to conquer.
The wise men who came to Jesus were the first of thousands of gentiles. Our church needs to be a beacon and we need to share the light. Isiah reverses this a little . God remains at work in our world despite the darkness. If we lift up our eyes we will find God ahead of us in the world. The church has to arise to its mission. Take heart that the light has come. We can arise out of despair and get on. Jesus used the symbol of light, as the light of the world,
As you pack away your lights, with all that’s going on it’s easy to think that darkness is winning. But remember the light always wins. Darkness is defeated by the smallest glimmer of light. The gospel writers reflect this all the time. On the cross darkness is defeated, light wins! In 2020 be the light in your everyday things.
Nations will walk in the light, God’s dwelling will be among people.
Jesus tells us we are the light of the world, flawed as we are. Lots of people are hungry for spirituality. Let them see the light through us.
Let us go and share that light with others.