“A Shining Light” (Matthew 2:1-12)
Scripture: Matthew 2:9-10 ESV
9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
In the cartoons, a sudden idea is often represented by the appearance overhead of a lit light bulb. Shining lights make us think of being dazzled, taken by surprise, found out. Perhaps we think of the dazzling light of Saul’s conversion. Whatever the connotation, the shining light can not be ignored.
Matthew’s Nativity account (above) has a Shining Light – The Star – as the silent but instantly understood herald of the birth of Christ. To his Jewish readers it might also have carried the implicit understanding of ‘shekinah’ glory – the very presence of God. John tells us that the Light was so powerful that the darkness was not able to overcome it. Jesus later confirmed it by his announcement “I am the Light of the world”.
As we come to our Covenant service at the start of this New Year, we bring ourselves into that same shining light, asking again for any accumulated but secret darkness to be banished, and committing to be bearers of that same light in the way we live and walk as children of light.
Prayer by Chris Christensen
May we be a shining light to the nations / A shining light to the peoples of the earth;
Till the whole world sees the glory of Your name / May Your pure light shine through us.