Recently I heard the story of the Norwegian village that didn’t receive a single scrap of sunlight for 6 whole months. Their solution was to install three mirrors which move and rotate on a specific axis, to capture the sunlight. Its tracking system enables them to track the sun, and reflect sunlight downwards to the main square.
It’s a wonderful reminder of the power of light. And also that there are some parts of the world which miss out on light for long periods of the year. That said, it is also true that, at whatever point you’re reading this today, much of our world is bathed in light. The way that our earth rotates means that sunlight extends to the ends of the earth.
In today’s reading, we see a similar promise of global spiritual light. In the second of the great servant songs of Isaiah, God promises a new light for the whole world. The blessings enjoyed by Israel would soon be available to all (v6): which had always been the plan, but had not quite come to fruition before now. As people gazed on the ruins of Jerusalem, and wondered if life would ever recover, a new hope was springing up: one that was too big to be held within one people, but would stretch across the globe. This light would bring God’s salvation ‘to the ends of the earth.’
It’s easy to take this glorious truth for granted. We’re so used to the idea of universal access to God, we forget how rare it is. Virtually all other worldviews place some sort of limit on who’s ‘in’, but not the God of the bible. The grace of the one true God is available for all.
As humans we are made in the image of God, who is light. It follows that we were made to live in light – not just the light of the sun, but the light of the Son, too. When we pray, there will be thousands of people, maybe millions too, praying at that exact moment. Likewise when we sing. A global chorus of unceasing prayer and praise, as day follows night, and night follows day. It echoes the unending glory of heaven, where God is eternally praised.
So today, and every day, our small voice joins with millions of others across the world and throughout eternity, all worshipping the true light, the true servant who sets us free. May that thought lift our hearts today. And may it also cause us to offer prayers of thanks and support for all who will pray and praise in Jesus’ name across the world today.