Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.
Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the Lord will shine upon you;
God’s glory will appear over you.
Isaiah 60:1-2 (CEB)
I start each day with pretty much the same routine: wake up, get the coffee brewing, read the Upper Room and also the Upper Room Disciplines devotionals, then pray meditatively on what I’ve read. Many mornings this will take one or two minutes at most; other times a comfortable, holy silence and sense of Spirit-filled peace will take hold and I’m there longer. This is a good start.
Then things tend to get more complicated. I’ll listen to NPR while making my kids’ sandwiches, remembering their precise preferences in amounts of mustard while listening to the morning’s headlines from around the world. Then I’ll open the morning’s New York Times and Washington Post, scroll through other news aggregators and sources from across the ideological spectrum, and even watch a little TV news all before I get my kids on the bus.
We are all wired differently and given different gifts. I am someone who likes to know things. Information brings me comfort and a sense of security, but it can also be too, too much sometimes. Some derisively call this “analysis paralysis,” when, their thinking goes, we become too informed to act decisively. Additionally – who can be trusted? How can we know just what constitutes objective reality in a world where so many dissemble, deceive, and distort for their own gain?
We celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord this Sunday, when the Magi came to the side of Jesus’s manger. This moment was an illumination of the nature and ways of God in a confusing time where Herod sought to preserve his power. Confusion and intimidation are suppressing forces, after all. Yet the light of Christ brings all things into clarity. This light still shines for us today. In this Christmas season I invite each of us to pray and contemplatively seek to live as reminders of this love of God made flesh in Jesus, life and light in a dark and confusing world.
Grace and Peace,