Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
    and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
    and his glory will be seen upon you.
 And nations shall come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1-3

Listening to the news can so often make you very depressed. Violence, suffering, and oppression are all around. So much of the world seems to be in darkness, with all of us just fumbling around, out for ourselves and our desires. But there is a way forward, a light expunging the dark. Violence and tragedy around us is nothing new – 2,500 years ago, the prophet Isaiah explained to the Kingdom of Judah that the world was covered in darkness; enemies surrounded the kingdom, and the Judeans themselves often strayed from God. Yet Isaiah gave them a promise – that the Messiah would rise from them, and that his light an glory would shine through all the world.

With first coming of Jesus, his incarnation, death, and resurrection, that kingdom has begun. Peoples who lived for eons in the dark, stumbling to find their way out, are now shown the way, bathed in radiant light. Now, all nations come to see this light. While Jesus has yet to return and establish an earthly, physical kingdom that will last forever, we still witness the spiritually blind receive their sight, those suffering in spirit receive spiritual comfort. And what a day when the Kingdom of Light becomes fully realized, and the clouded lens polished to let the radiance stream out.