Sunday, January 13, 2013

Arise, O God and Shine

This rousing hymn, sung to the tune of Darwall's 148th, or Rejoice The Lord is King, is especially appropriate for this season of Epiphany, when we think about Jesus coming to the earth to be light and we reflect on how we can shine His light and brighten the corner where we are. We'll look at each verse of this hymn over the next few days.

We want the light of God to shine so that others may know His saving might. As followers of Christ, we can say with the Psalmist David,

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1

As creatures designed by God, we are to spread His glorious light. He has appointed us to be a light to the nations!

“I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison." Isaiah 42:6-7

Along with His light comes healing - light shines in the darkness and brings things into the open. Healing comes to make whole what is broken. God, speaking through the prophet Malachi, tells us that Jesus would come as a healer.

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall." Malachi 4:2

And He did! Early in His ministry, Matthew reports,

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23

When people saw who Jesus was and how God had given Him power to heal and change, they believed.

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. John 2:23

Jesus is not physically with us on the earth today; but He is still moving. His healing streams of mercy are flowing among us - and we need to make them known so that all the earth His truth will know.

Do you have a story of God's healing streams of mercy in your life? Brighten the corner where you are by sharing it with someone who doesn't know Jesus. If they have seen you changed, share with them about the Lord whose light shines through you!

Arise, O God, and Shine
Words by William Hurn

Arise, O God, and shine
In all Thy saving might,
And prosper each design
To spread Thy glorious light;
Let healing streams of mercy flow
That all the earth Thy truth may know.

Bring distant nations near
To sing Thy glorious praise;
Let every people hear
And learn Thy holy ways.
Reign, mighty God, assert Thy cause
And govern by Thy righteous laws.

Put forth Thy glorious power
That Gentiles all may see
And earth present her store
In converts born to Thee.
God, our own God, His Church will bless
And fill the world with righteousness.

To God, the only wise,
The one immortal king,
Let hallelujahs rise
From every living thing;
Let all that breathe, on every coast
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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