The prophet Isaiah lived and wrote during the stormy period when many of the people of Judah were in exile in Babylon, crushed and without hope. We too live in a stormy period – we seem to have abandoned our Christian roots to love one another and segments of our society seem bent on, rather than loving one other, creating ways to define “other”, to vilify and exclude them, scapegoating the other in order to solidify social boundaries. As a nation we no longer welcome those escaping wars, persecution, starvation, fleeing to America seeking life, freedom, and opportunity.
To me, when God beckoned Isaiah to bring back his people, he did not mean for Isaiah to simply bring the scattered people back to Israel. God implored Isaiah to bring the people back to God. “I have a greater task for you my servant… I will also make you a light to the nations – so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
We all have the light of God within us. Imagine how different our world would be if we shared that light, that love, and compassion with our fellow humans, no matter the color of their skin, their country of origin, their gender or sexual orientation. If we truly recognized others as equals in need of care and comfort. If we let the light within us shine so others may see the love God extends to us all as his children. If we all, regardless of our own trials and tribulations, seek opportunities to serve one another, to open the doors of happiness by taking care of the many others with whom we share the world?
Let the light of God’s love within us all be a beacon to those seeking. Amen.