Devotion 53 – Epiphany (Evening)

Opening Prayer

Lord, speak, and give us ears to hear. Amen.

Text: Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; For your light has come! and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.

Devotion

Was Isaiah an optimistic enthusiast, full of foolish dreams and vain expectations, so that his words are not reliable? Not at all! Read his whole book. He has a realistic view of things and he sees the darkness as well as the light. He prophesies punishment as well as salvation and glory. His sermon is not a poetic invention; he speaks, moved by the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21). But this is so that God’s people would expect great things, despite the hard times that were at the door. Beloved, let the Lord’s Word prevail over our thoughts, let it determine what we expect, – the Word of the Lord, and not the gloomy foreboding of our dark hearts! If we have begun to open our eyes, don’t we see then that the Scripture is ful?lled? Hasn’t the Light arisen and the glory of the Lord come upon Israel? And again: Wasn’t there darkness over the earth and great darkness over the people? Yes, it is as Isaiah said. So then, the rest of what he says will also happen: The Gentiles and kings shall come to the Light of Israel, the Jews shall return, and the multitude of the Gentiles shall be converted and become the Lord’s people. Even Christ’s royal command af?rms this: “All power in heaven and on earth is given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations!” (Mat 28:19) He doesn’t say that every Gentile shall be saved, but rather that the Light shall go around the world and all nations shall be saved, so there shall be a complete human family, of all races, in the new earth. You shall also see it. Your heart, Christian people, shall beat and tremble with joy at the saving wonders and shall be enlarged, as spacious as heaven, and receive an eternal fullness of love and joy. Prepare yourself, the Light has come to you, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, anoint our eyes, that we may walk in Your Light. Grant us grace to believe Your Word, lift Your banner high, and hold fast the steadfast confession in hope (Heb 10:23). Amen.

Hymn

Lift up your eyes and now behold
The Gentiles’ adoration
Of God’s good promise made of old
To ev’ry land and nation;
As sons and daughters of the King
Their prayers and off’rings now they bring
In thanks for His oblation.

Then shall your heart awake and rise
In wondrous jubilation
When you shall see a bride of Christ
Of heathen generation;
Both gold and incense they now bring
To worship Jesus Christ, their King,
And praise His incarnation.

O Jesus, who became a Man,
Help us that we may know Thee;
In heaven’s book now write our name
And make us faithful always –
That we may put our ev’ry good
To holy use, as well we should,
That all we do may please Thee.

Kingo: Vær trøstig, Zion (Luk Øjne op) L 194:4-6 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Es ist das Heil; alternate hymn: As with gladness ELH 168:1-2

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