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 The prophet Isaiah wrote to the people of Israel to: "Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you." Now he wrote these words to a nation that lie in darkness. You see Israel had lived in the darkness of rebellion and ended up in the darkness of a heathen enemy by the name of Babylon. But God had promised a light for them.

Today, just like it was back then, our nation suffers from an energy crisis called sin and we too are living in darkness and God has also promised us a light. So   How is it that we are to "Ariseand Shine"? Well, God has shined in our dark world with the light of his son, our savior, Jesus. You see, he brought Israel back home to Jerusalem and sent the Messiah in the fullness of his time. And in the darkness of Good Friday, Jesus, the 'light of the world' was not, and could, not, be extinguished. Victorious over sin and risen from the dead, Jesus shines brighter than any other light known to man. And drawing from that kind of light each day, we let God shine through us.

So now in the year of our Lord 2016, each of can go forward in a world that threatens darkness with a torch of lighted faith that will always brighten the darkness around us. Just don't forget to keep that torch well-oiled with his word and worship during the year. May God grant us all a blessed new year.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Jake



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