There’s a wonderful Old Testament passage that we read on 6 January – at Epiphany services. It’s from the book of Isaiah and starts with the words Arise and shine…for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
What a wonderful exhortation this is - to start the new year. Arise and shine!
It reminds me of an old Kelloggs’ commercial for orange juice that was called Rise and Shine – which showed a healthy young man getting up at 6.30am, drinking his OJ and going off to work on his bike smiling and full of energy!
Well, I’m not sure I’m going to live up to that this year. But my prayer is that we do all arise and shine in 2019.
First, that we arise. That we get up and do something. I was reading a book the other day called Get off the sofa and it made me think about how we might literally spend more time on our feet – getting out and about and helping to make the world a better place.
And how do we do that?
Well, by shining! By arising and shining. Letting our light shine before men (as the Bible puts it.). Not hiding our light under a bushel basket. But being like the city on the hill – clearly visible to all.
We want to bring joy and peace and hope to our world. And we can do that by turning up – and listening, forgiving and being compassionate.
Here’s an extract from a poem by Antony Theodore that may help you pray for boldness so that you may arise and shine this year:
Your light is your God.
Arise and shine.
Darkness has no place in you.
God's glory shall shine upon you.
Vow always to be true.
He covers you with his feathers.
Choose to do God's will always.
God heals and delivers.
Be a living testimony for God.