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  • Writer's picturePastor Nancy Raabe

The Radiance of Hope

Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven-fold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the hurt of his people. (Isaiah 30:26) Last night around 9 p.m. as Jack and I were out walking, or rather as he was scampering and I was trying to keep up, I noticed a strange thing--I was bathed in both the light of the moon and the light of the sun. The moon was waxing gibbous at 83% illuminated, and the last light of the sun would not come until 9:48 p.m. I was between streetlights, so was able to experience the silvery glow from the east and the golden glow from the west at the same time. Isaiah is the prophet of hope. Writing in the late 8th century BC, he foretells the fall of Judah to the Babylonians (the ancient prophets were more like political commentators than fortune-tellers), and longs for the restoration of his people to self-rule. Go almost anywhere in these 66 chapters and you will find glorious visions of reconciliation expressed in transcendent poetic imagery. In the verse above, Isaiah envisions the experience of that day when healing finally comes to the world. It will be nothing like the gentle glow in which I stood last night, but rather a radiance, a brilliance, that we cannot even fathom -- not only the full light of the sun and moon combined, but the light of seven days all packed into one. We've all been walking through some dark valleys. The waves of protests against injustice push us deeper into these caverns and rightfully so, as these are places in our national psyche that must be addressed. "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?" (Psalm 13:1) Yet Isaiah reminds us that healing will come. The light will be restored more brightly than we ever imagined, and not only on the last day but now, one mind and one heart at a time. "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." (James 5:16) Peace be with you, Pastor Raabe

June 2, 2020

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