Sunday School Lessons

January 6

Hear the Good News

Isaiah 60,61

KEY VERSE: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

-- Isaiah 60:1

At first we thought it was a movie. Then we realized it had actually happened: a passenger plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. A few minutes later we watched another plane smash into the other tower. Soon both towers collapsed in ruin.

911, September 11, 2001, a day none of us will ever forget. On that day darkness descended upon America. A friend, Barry Wood, was in an adjacent building that morning, beginning a normal work day. His building shook when the first plane hit the WTC. Quickly he and his colleagues made their way outside to the street.

Moments later they were covered with debris, dust, and smoke as the first tower collapsed. "For a few minutes I could not see my hand six inches in front of my face," Barry told me; "It was frightening and unbelievable, especially since we could not see."

The evil work of the terrorists reminds us that we live in a world plagued by darkness. Evil and darkness are like a plague to the earth, engulfing us at times in despair and fear. But that is why the Gospel is so important! God was not willing to leave us in darkness; he loved us so much that he sent his Son to be the light of the world.

In his own day Isaiah did what we need to do in ours. His prophecy gave the people hope and the assurance of Godís comfort in the midst of their troubles. He reminded them that darkness would not prevail. And the prophet assured the people that God was planning a glorious wedding when his people would be clothed with beautiful "garments of salvation."

So we need to tell people who are gripped by fear in this present darkness that our God is planning a wedding! He will provide white robes for believers who will be the bride of Christ. Those who choose not Christ will still be wearing their "filthy rags" when they are cast into "outer darkness."

Oh Christ, light of the world, come with your light into this dark heart of mine that I may arise, shine, and give you glory while I live!