Andrew's Message: January 7

Posted on January 07, 2024 in: General News

Throughout the Advent Season, many of our parishioners joined me for a three-part series on Isaiah the Prophet. Many of them might remember my emphasis on the historical outline of Israel’s history. One of the major events in the latter part of the Book of Isaiah was the Babylonian Captivity (597 to 538 BCE) where the people of Israel were exiled into the foreign land of Babylon. Our first reading (Isaiah 60:1-6) was written in the time when the people of Israel were able to return to their homeland after this horrible period of exile. Isaiah’s message to those returning from this dark moment of exile is that a light shines even through the thick cloud of the darkest moments.

Light and darkness – a theme we have heard throughout the Advent Season and continue to hear in this Christmas Season. Today, we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. We recall the story of the magi (Matthew 2:1-12) who searched for the Christ-Child in the darkness of night, guided by the light of a single star, pressured by the dark agenda of Herod, and found the light of the Newborn King in the unexpected humility of a simple stable.

Within these two messages, we see that light and darkness are often intertwined. However, this is precisely why Jesus came into our world – to be the light that shines brightly in our complicated and messy darkness. In our own lives, it is not always easy to see the light that God promises each of us, especially when it is hidden within the pain and brokenness that is still present in our world. But, the promise of Israel’s return from captivity and the journey of the magi reveals that God continues to illuminate the darkest moments of life. Like the Israelites and the magi, we might need to look in those places that we least expect and let that light shine in the darkness.

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