Raise your hand if you are a Wordle fan. I love word games and puzzles so this online game from the New York Times is right up my alley. It is a five-letter word game where you have six tries to get the correct word. Letters in the right place turn green; letters that are somewhere in the puzzle but not in the right place turn yellow, and incorrect letters are gray.
People have come up with starting words that use popular letters, such as adieu. A while ago I was using either weary or teary as my first guess since they have common vowels that might be in the word. One day I was listening to NPR, and I heard the New York Times puzzle master, Will Shorts, say that he starts with either arise or arose.
So now, depending on the kind of day I am having, I start with either weary or arise. My mood dictates my choice, and obviously I am having a good day when I choose arise.
On this Epiphany Day, we revisit Isaiah’s beautiful passage on the regathering of the nation of Israel after the Redeemer conquered all opposition and called the people back home. They have been living in the darkness of the diaspora and have longed to return. Now, the gloom has been lifted and God has not only shone his light on them but enables them to be a light to the surrounding nations.
No one can ignore this dawning radiance.
Isaiah 60 (Common English Bible)
Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.
2 Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the Lord will shine upon you;
God’s glory will appear over you.
3 Nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning radiance.
Our New Testament lenses read Christ all through this passage. Christ is the light that has come and will come again. Christ is the radiance that obliterates the darkness of our sins, burdens, addictions, estrangements, and sorrows. Christ even obliterates the darkness of death. He invites us to lift up our eyes and see our own reflected radiance in his presence.
4 Lift up your eyes and look all around:
they are all gathered; they have come to you.
Your sons will come from far away,
and your daughters on caregivers’ hips.
5 Then you will see and be radiant;
your heart will tremble and open wide,
because the sea’s abundance will be turned over to you;
the nations’ wealth will come to you.
6 Countless camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
They will all come from Sheba,
carrying gold and incense,
proclaiming the Lord’s praises.
This is such a beautiful foretelling of the Second Coming as well. When Jesus returns, the nations will gather in Israel and bask in the glow of his light. The glory of God will appear over the earth and every knee will bow in its radiance.
On this Epiphany Day, God invites us to arise and turn away from the darkness to walk in the light of Christ and invite others to walk along with us. We have but one job to do today. Lift up your eyes! Look all around! Then you will see and be radiant.
Your Light Has Come by Michelle Robertson