Wednesday, January 06, 2016

"Let your light shine..."

It's January 6th, which means today is Epiphany! Epiphany is the day when many Christians remember the coming of the Wise Men to see Jesus and bring their famous gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
It's also a day when we think about God's light: the light of that star that led the magi to find the child, the "dawning radiance" of God's glory that has risen upon the world in Jesus (Isa 60:1-3 CEB). In our Epiphany celebration on Sunday, I preached on that Isaiah passage, connecting it with Matthew 5:14-16: while Jesus is the light of the world that dawned at Christmas, the followers of Jesus are also called "the light of the world," whose goods works should shine that light on others.

In that spirit, I want to offer some verses from Charles Wesley (1707-1788) as an Epiphany mediation for us:

Freely to all ourselves we give,
Constrained by Jesu's love to live
    The servants of mankind.
Now, Jesu, now thy love impart,
To govern each devoted heart,
    And fit us for thy will!
Deep founded in the truth of grace,
Build up thy rising church, and place
    The city on the hill.
O let our faith and love abound!
O let our lives to all around
    With purest lustre shine!
That all around our works may see,
And give the glory, Lord, to thee,
    The heavenly light divine!

Charles Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Edition, Vol. 7, 704.

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