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Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

It was destroyed.

Here we were, operating in our own legacy, minding our own business

And the enemy came.

The horns blew

The walls crumbled brick

By brick

By brick,

our foundation shaken by the throes of war.

The cries and shouts became imprinted in our minds

Underscoring nightly episodes of our deepest nightmares.

We became only a shell of ourselves.

A hallow name fulfilling minimum requirements

A Relationship held at arms length, never venturing to diminish the distance.

We retained the embedded litany of the thing that destroyed us piece

By piece,

By piece.

Resting us stagnant in our path even when we are pushed forward.

We wondered if there was anything good in life afterwards?

Was there a Word from the God of our father’s fathers

And mother’s mothers?

Would the God of “weary years” and “silent tears”

“Bring us” yet again “far along the way?”

We question if there could be a pneumatic breath

or a rain to shower down a blessing

In the midst of our utter upheaval.

And then we remember who we are.

Like Israelites, we gaze at a destroyed city,

Dilapidated buildings,

blood-stained streets,

and the exhausted reality of darkness.

But what was not broken,

Not beaten and

Not oppressed

was our spirit and legacy.

We survived with granted grace.

We recall the prophetic word of restored glory

and achieve empathic empowerment.

We reignite the word of prophets to “Arise”

To “Shine”

To embody “light”

As we gather at the place of our death to be reborn again.

And we rebuild.

As we lift our eyes to take in the joy from the future

To reestablish the vision,

To realign the nation

We revel in the brightness of dawns

Our hearts thrilled, rejoicing while bringing selfless offering.

Arise, signal the reinstatement of abundance.

Shine, to present a salve for the broken people.

Be a light shining radiant in the wealth that return.

See God’s glory appear and proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Prayer: God, even as the wars have raged in our lives, you are the great Restorer. Guide us to keep your vision and arise as a light unto your nation. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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