“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)
When I first saw him on that Kairos Prison Ministry weekend, his body betrayed the weight of his wrong—bent at the shoulders, anguish commandeering his face, emotionally distanced, without hope. But as we gathered the final morning of our time together, the inmate entered the room with a radiant glow that testified outwardly that something glorious had transpired inwardly. And it had—he had come to trust that Jesus’ death and resurrection were for him, too. Later that day, he told the 70-plus men listening, “This morning, for the first time in 19 years, I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw.” I’ve seen this man many times in the ensuing years, and his face still beams newness of joy.
Over the past few weeks, we have been beholding God’s glory—the splendor of His infinite perfection—proclaimed with power throughout creation, magnified in character of Christ, and then born in the unlikeliest of places—“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”1 As Paul writes, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”2 We gasp in wonderment, and we ask, What do we do with such lavished love?
In short, we shine, for glory is not something to be hoarded, rather we’ve been given “glory to go”—the radiance of a people who go as we’ve been sent, serve as we’ve been served, give as we’ve received, and speak liberating truth in the language of love. For all around us are people who “blinded, … cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”3 We’ve all been there; we can all relate. So, we go with this in mind: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”4 We don’t know who will be liberated or in what way, but we can be confident in this: We’ll like what we see.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
Father, in great mercy, you’ve given us your glory. Grace us to shine it however you’ve called us, wherever you lead us, and to whomever you send us. Be happy with us, your people. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
1 Colossians 1:27
2 2 Corinthians 4:6
3 2 Corinthians 4:4
4 1 Corinthians 10:31