Isaiah 58:9b-14 (NRSV)
Verse 9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, Verse 10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. Verse 11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Verse 12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
Verse 13If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; Verse 14then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
We know that the moon has no light of its own. Yet, on a cloudless night, the moon glows brightly! It is a reflected light. It is reflecting rays of the sun, shining from the other side of the earth.
When Isaiah says in today’s passage, “Your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday,” he is speaking of a reflected light. The light comes not from our own goodness. Rather, it is a light reflecting God’s love and grace. When we are gracious to others, when we feed the hungry and help the needy, the prophet declares that a blessing follows. It is a blessing (to ourselves and to our community) that comes from seeking to live in accordance with God’s ways.
How will your life today reflect the light of God’s love?
Loving God, the light of your love shines most clearly in Jesus, who spoke of himself as “the light of the world.” Help me to reflect that light by the way I treat other people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.