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Book of Isaiah

If Favor is Shown to the Wicked…

If Favor is Shown to the Wicked…

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Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems that a person who is bent upon doing harm and evil towards others, still is blessed with a degree of favor? I think about Dr. Larry Nassar, the US Olympic Gymnastics Team and Michigan State University sports doctor, who was convicted last week of abusing 250 girls and women. Nassar was blessed with favor to be a doctor for the United States Olympic Gymnastics Team and was part of the prestigious health apparatus for Michigan State University. Despite the favor of God that was bestowed upon Nassar, he chose to use that favor to abuse girls and women. One of the lessons from Nassar is that while he seemed to “Get away with murder,” the long arm of justice found him and has snatched his favor in shame and punishment.

The Prophet Isaiah proclaims that even when favor is given to the wicked, they go in another direction and end up doing evil. My encouragement to you is to pray to God for favor, build upon that favor, and use that favor to the glory of God.

Isaiah 26: 10 If favor is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness they deal perversely[1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about “Favor is shown to the wicked…”
  2. Why would God show favor to the wicked?

 

Prayer: God, your wisdom transcends the knowledge of this world. Even though it is sometimes difficult to understand why people do the things they do, say things they say, and treat others the way they do, Lord, I still put my trust and hope in you. Lord, you cause the sun and rain to fall upon the righteous and the wicked. Bless me now with your protection. Bless us with your guidance. Bless us with your love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, mission, and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

 

 

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 26:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Strength for the Poor!

DSC_1207Thou Hast Been a Strength to the Poor!

 

When things are not going your way, hope is often all you have. It is one thing not to have enough money, but the person with hope is bolstered to believe as the old Negro spiritual says, “I’m so glad, trouble don’t last always.” Loneliness can choke and starve emotions, but hope of love and friendship and someone to talk with, can mean the difference between a miserable life and a joyful life. Love, that has dried up like a river in the desert, can leave one empty, frustrated and desperate for renewal. The hope that we obtain from our faith in Jesus Christ should be an encouragement that God does not desire suffering and pain and that one day, things will turn around for the better.

Isaiah, the prophet, preached and gave hope to the Hebrew people who were carried away to Babylon in exile. The whole Book of Isaiah is a prophecy of hope, restoration and renewal. Within an 70 year period of time, from 608 BC-538 BC , some think it was 586 BC – 516 BC, Cyrus of Persia liberated the captive Jews and they were free to return to Israel.

My encouragement to you today is that you might read chapter 25 of the Book of Isaiah, and let the Lord renew your hope and outlook on life. Thank you for taking the time to read these words.

Isaiah 25: 4   For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. [1]

      Questions for Reflection:

  1. How is the Lord a “Strength to the poor?”
  2. What does Isaiah 25:4 say to you?

 

Prayer: Lord, from the beginning of time you have been a refuge to the poor and needy. In my worst hour, you have provided me with hope. I seek your face for inspiration and direction. I seek your power and receive renewed confidence. Help me to look beyond the things that bother me. Renew my dreams. Restore my joy. Refresh my outlook on life in the confidence that in you, all things are possible! Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, prayers, photos and meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org and www.puccdetroit.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 25:4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Cherry Blossoms and the Prophecy of Isaiah

Cherry Blossoms and the Prophecy of Isaiah


I walked a couple of miles this week to see the blossom of the cherry trees. Denise and I were in Washington DC, she for a meeting, I, as a high-priced valet, bearing her bags – yes, to be honest, sometimes that is how it goes. One day, I walked a long walk from the hotel to the Washington Monument. The cherry blossoms were beaming with a brilliance that beckoned even the hardest of –hearts. I have visited Washington, DC several times, but I have never been there when the cherry blossoms were in bloom. It was a beautiful spectacular sight, but the more I reflected upon the majesty of the trees, I was reminded that they only bloom for about a week, then they resume to their normal look.

The beautiful cherry blossoms are like everything else in our world – beautiful for a moment, then fades away. Every culture in history has built buildings and structures, but for one reason or another they fade away. The Great Wall of China still stands, but the people who built it have gone to meet their maker. England, France and Spain and let us not forget Germany, all were great in their day, they are still magnificent countries, but their reach is much shorter now, than one hundred years ago. Chaka Zula was a warrior without parallel, but he is gone.

People come and people go, but there is one who never sleeps, never quits, never experiences defeat. From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, Jesus is Lord! Cherry blossoms bloom, then shed their glory and look similar to other trees, but God is still on the throne, Jesus is with us day in and day out and the Word of God is still speaking!

Isaiah 40: 6   A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass,

their constancy is like the flower of the field.

7    The grass withers, the flower fades,

when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

surely the people are grass.

8    The grass withers, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand forever. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts regarding the permanent nature of God?
  2. What prophecies of Isaiah mean the most to you?

 

Prayer: Lord, your permanency is everlasting! People come, and people go, but your power, grace, mercy and love are without end! The flowers bloom with the dawning of the Spring, but their life is short lived. Rivers and streams rise and fall, but your love is consistent! Speak a word to me, Lord Jesus! Speak now and I will listen. Speak now and I will press on. Speak now and I will stretch, love and live life as you have ordained. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions, photos and publications from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 40:6–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“…To Let the Oppressed Go Free”

“… To Let the Oppressed Go Free” –

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New born turtles racing to the ocean before they are eaten by scavenger birds and dogs – Trinidad 2016

Some people are free to move, free to live, free to make and spend money, but think and act like they are oppressed.  An oppressed mind is when a person is physically free, but emotionally frozen to think and live outside of the box they have determined is the only option they have.  For example, there are persons who suffer through chaotic, claustrophobic, crazy marriage.  They know their marriage is dangerous.  They know it is wearing them down.  They may or may not have sought counseling.  They have prayed for a release.  They may even hear the voice of God telling them “Now is the time to leave,” but in their fearfulness, their uncertainty, they remain in an oppressive situation.

In the history of the African American, men and women from the very introduction of slavery continued to push to be free.  The road has not been perfect, but 400 years later, we have an African American as president of the country.  I believe God has made this possible.  I believe that as a group African Americans have heard the prophecy as given to the Prophet Isaiah, and truly believed that it was the will of God that we might be free.

Isaiah 58: 6   Is not this the fast that I choose:

to loose the bonds of injustice,

to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

and to break every yoke? [1]

 

Oppression knows no color.  From Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan to Nigeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo and even to the Philippines, we see examples of leaders and ethnic groups who hold the rod of abuse and torture over the heads of the people.  Oppression happens anytime a person or nation-state decides to sit on the will of the people and to constrict the democratic process.  The Prophet Isaiah preached the good news to the people of Israel during a difficult period in its history.  The good news preached to the people from the prophet was that God was aware of their suffering and prepared to engage in the process of liberation from oppression.  In like manner, God is still on the throne and prepared to assist you and me in the liberation of the world.

Isaiah 58: to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? [2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Who are the “Oppressed” in today’s world?
  2. How can a person be oppressed, but at the same time free?
  3. How does Jesus Christ make it possible for the oppressed to be free?

Prayer: Lord, I seek your freedom.  I pray today for people throughout the world who are in chains.  I pray for the prisoner.  I pray for the refugee.  I pray for those who are suffering torture, beheadings and crucifixion.  I also pray for those who are economically oppressed.  I pray for the person who does not have enough money to live a satisfying life.  I pray for the person who wants work, but cannot find work.  I pray today for the person who has pockets overflowing with money, but has not learned to live a happy, meaningful and fulfilled life.  Lord, I love the liberation that lives through your love.  Lord, my help begins with my hope in you.  The good news of your salvation has freed me from misery and depression.  Free us this day from hate.  Free us this day from mental enslavement to people and systems that are negative and destructive.  Free us this day so we might enjoy life as you have ordained that it might be.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 58:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 58:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Faith Flowers and Fulfilment

Faith Flowers and Fulfillment

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The search for something permanent is a human desire that transcends nationality, space and time.  The sad reality is that almost nothing remains the same.  Institutions come and go.  Leaders rise and leaders fall.  Great people live and great people die.  Love comes and love goes.  If you are fortunate you will find love and it might last the rest of your lifetime, but even then, at some point both persons will die and life moves on.  Denise and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage this August.  While that is a milestone, the reality is that many have been married longer than we are, but even then, at some point everyone goes the way of the world.

My late father mentioned often how when he pastored a church in New Orleans he received several awards and plaques, but when his successor was installed, soon afterwards anything with his name or image on it was removed.  The point I am making is that nothing will last forever.  If it is not a human being it will be the force of nature, but everything that lives and every building and entity that has life will eventually come down.

Businesses come and businesses go.  TWA and Pan Am airlines were mighty in their day, but they are gone and rest in the history of great businesses that once were great and now have been swallowed by others.

Where I am going with all of this?  In my mind, the only thing that offers permanence is the Word of God.

Therefore, you and I should look for that one thing that promises to be with us in season and out of season, when we are up and when we are down, when we are in our strength and when we are in our weakness.   That one thing that assures us it will be with us until the end of the universe and even then is the Word of God.

In the search for personal fulfilment, I believe that faith in God is the one thing that provides us with relevance, meaning and a sense of purpose that cannot be destroyed. The Word of God provides us with an understanding of the meaning of life, purpose in life and promise for the best life possible.  Isaiah contrasts the Word of God with the flower of the field.  His powerful statement simple says:

Isaiah 40: 8   The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. [1]

When we look at the preceding verses, what we see is that the prophet provides and expanded analogy between flowers that have a given life cycle and the Word of God which promises to be with us in and out of season.

Isaiah 40: 6   A voice says, “Cry out!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass,

their constancy is like the flower of the field.

7    The grass withers, the flower fades,

when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;

surely the people are grass.

8    The grass withers, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand forever. [2]

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How is your sense of fulfilment connected to your faith in Jesus Christ?
  2. What has convinced you that the “Word of God” will stand forever?

 

Prayer:

Lord, build my faith.  In a world of competing dreams, competing promises and competing illusions, remind me that your Word is real, your grace is sufficient, your love is everlasting.  Lord, grant me a deeper sense of awareness of those things that matter most.  Help me to discern truth from fiction, reality from fantasy and dreams from destiny.  Lord, today I recommit myself to you.  Today I pledge my loyalty.  Today I walk without fear, witness for you with an energy that will not tire, and a faith that only grows.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III “Flowers in Battery Park New York”

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 40:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 40:6–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Can a Woman Forget Her Nursing Child?

Can a Woman Forget Her Nursing Child?

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Three Mothers:  Ardell Turner, Dianna Solomon, Shawnda Warren

 

I watched several mothers and fathers say good bye to their children as they boarded a bus for the annual “Black and Ivy College Tour” sponsored by my church, the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan.  Twenty -nine children are making the trip.  The itinerary includes: Fisk University, Tuskegee, Talladega, Dillard, Xavier, Morehouse, Spelman, North Carolina A and T, and Duke.  The College Tour is personally important to me because before I was ordained or even entered divinity school, I was a youth worker at my church.  In 1972 I organized the first Black College Tour from my church.  The itinerary on that first college tour was similar to this tour:  Fisk, Tuskegee, Taladega, Dillard, Lemoyne Owen, Spelman, Morehouse and the King Center in Atlanta when it was still in portable trailers.  We met Coretta Scott King who was a friend of my father.  I was only 19 and in some respects looked like a kid myself.  I had to ask the parents of each of the youth for their permission to participate on the trip.  The mothers I spoke with 43 years ago were similar to the mothers today- they love their children, care for their children and want only the best for their children.

 

In the photo, three mothers posed for a picture as they watched their children board the bus.  The mothers were happy, excited and hopeful for their children.  As I looked at the mothers, I thought about the words of Isaiah:

Isaiah 49: 15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. [1]

Isaiah goes on to contrast and compare the love of a mother for her children with the love of God for Israel.  Isaiah is speaking to Israel which is in Babylonian exile.  The Prophet Isaiah is reassuring Israel that God has not and will not forget them and ultimately will bring them home.  Listen to a little more about the commitment of God to the people of Israel:

Isaiah 49: 16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.

17  Your builders outdo your destroyers,

and those who laid you waste go away from you.

18  Lift up your eyes all around and see;

they all gather, they come to you.

As I live, says the Lord,

you shall put all of them on like an ornament,

and like a bride you shall bind them on. [2]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does this scripture tell you about the commitment of God to the people of God?
  2. Why do you think Isaiah compares the love of God to the love of a mother?

 

Prayer:

Lord, I thank you for your commitment.  I thank you for your support.  I thank you for your care.  I thank you for watching over me when I could not and would not watch over myself.  When I stumbled, you picked me up.  In my confusion you have set me at peace.  In my poverty, you have shown me a pathway to prosperity.  Lord, I give my commitment to you.  Lord, I give you my heart, my soul, my very life.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 49:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 49:16–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Rise Shine for Your light has come

Arise and Shine for Your Light Has Come! Blog post

Your Time is Now!

Isaiah 60    Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2     For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. [1]

 

To me, the saddest persons are those who perpetually are waiting for their “ship to come in.”  These are the persons who are reluctant to commit in love because they wonder if someone better is around the corner.  They are reluctant to take a vacation or trip because, “the time is not right.”  I have known persons who put off traveling for one reason or another only to find that by the time they had no more excuses, they had the money and time to travel, but their poor heath would not allow them. They put off spending time with their children.  They put off love for a career.  They put off building a career they can grow into because they are afraid of going back to school.  They put off patching up a relationship with a relative or friend, saying I will wait for a better time, not realizing that every moment in life is precious.  They put off saving for the future because they want to live for today.  Time is not promised to any of us.  They put off marriage because they don’t think they have enough money.  They get married then put off having children because “it’s not the right time.”  What they do not realize is that for each of us, our time is now!

I never will forget a conversation I had with my elderly God-Mother in New Orleans.  Shortly after Denise and I were married, by God –Mother asked me in all earnestness when we would start a family.  I replied that we had just gotten married and it was not a good time to have children.  The quickness of her reply surprised me: “it’s never a good time to have a baby.”  She went on to say that the career pressures, financial pressures, and personal desires of a young couple all are good reasons not to have a baby.  She said, “if you wait until you have enough money you will be too old to have a child.  If you wait until your career is established, you will be too old to have a child.”  If you put off having a child until you have the right  house, right neighborhood, right moment in your  relationship, you may never have that baby.  Because there are so many good reasons not to have a child, at some point prospective parents need to decide that they want to have a child and then try to make it happen.”

-“You are the light of the world”

I don’t know what you are going through, but the word of God is still true: your time is now!

-Not tonight

-Not tomorrow

-Not next week

-But now!

-Your time is now!

-I know some of us are carrying tremendous burdens

-In some cases I know the load seems greater than what you can bear

-Yet, even so, your time is now!

-The word of God to Isaiah is still relevant today: Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you!

-Look at those words:  Arise and shine

-Arise – get up from your bed of despair

-Get up from your bed of doubt

-Get up from your bed of procrastination

-Get up from the bed of thinking now is not the right time

-Look at the other word in this verse:  shine

-Shine and let others see the Glory of God that is already within you

-Shine, you are just as worthwhile as the next person

-Shine, what you have is worth a lot

-Put those two words together: Rise and shine

-Get up and show the world what you are working with!

-Get up for your time is now

-Get up from your laziness and seize the prize that is waiting for you!

-And when you get up, shine

-Shine to the east

-Shine to the west

-Shine to the north

-Shine to the south

-Because your time is now

-Not tonight

-Not tomorrow

-Not next month

-Not next year

-Your time is now!

Questions for Reflection:

  • What is holding you back from claiming your destiny?
  • How can the Word of God inspire you to make the most of your life?

 

 

Prayer:

Lord, wake me from the deep sleep of fear and indecision.  Wake me, shake me and encourage me to reach for the prize you have set before me.  Regardless of my age.  Regardless of my mistakes, remind me that I am yours and you are mine.  Bless me this day with new energy, new hope, and new conviction to make the most of the life you have give to me.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditatons from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word of God to Isaiah, “arise shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” can also be applied to our modern situation.  The economy is weak.  Many have lost jobs or are fearful of losing a job.  Others have been forced to take a buyout.  Some have experienced forced wage reductions.  Yet, even in such a time as this the word of God is still relevant.  The way I interpret this word of hope for the people of today is this – Your time is now!  I believe God is saying to us today: no matter how dire your situation might be, stand up, get on your feet and seize the moment.  You only will live on this earth once.  You are only 20, 30, 40, 50, or older once.  Your children will only be young once.  If you have your health, take advantage of it. If you still have your mental faculties, use them, for your time is now.  If you have financial resources, use them now while you still can enjoy what they offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My encouragement to you today is simply this – seize this moment that God has given to you and realize that your time is now.  Not tomorrow. Not next year.  Not when you “get older,” but right now.   Ask yourself, “Am I living for the right now, or the pie in the sky, by and by?”

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 60:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Those of Steadfast Mind You Keep in Peace

Those of Steadfast Mind You Keep in Peace

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“Sunset behind the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit, Michigan”

 

What does it take to have a “Steadfast mind?”  The prophet Isaiah talks about being kept in peace- if you have a “Steadfast mind.”  A steadfast mind is a mind that knows where it is going, what it wants and what it does not want.  A steadfast mind does not shift like the wind because things do not go your way.  A steadfast mind is focused, set and ready to go for those things that are pure, just and right.

The promise of God is that we are kept in a perfect peace when we put God first.  You can have all the money in the world, but if you do not have inner peace you do not have a great life.  Some people make a lot of money, but spend more than they make- where is the peace?  Some people have a lot of things, but are not happy.  Others may not have a lot of things, but go to sleep with nothing but sweet dreams.  They work hard or may be unemployed, but they feel good about who they are, what they are doing with their life and where they are headed.

My encourage to you is that you strive to obtain the steadfast mind that will provide you with a perfect peace.  That peace is the gift that only Jesus Christ can give.  He will fill you when you are hungry, clothe you when you are naked, visit you when you are lonely, and protect you when you are defenseless.  He will give you a wealth that transcends money and a joy that transcends earthly joy.  Most of all he will give you a peace which transcends peace.

Isaiah 26: 3   Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does it mean to be of “Steadfast mind?”
  2. How does our trust in God keep us in peace?

Prayer:

Lord, I trust you.  Lord, my heart is fixed and my mind is made up.  I put my trust in you.  I put my faith in your promise of redemption from my sins.  I put my hope in your Word.  I put my confidence in your history of liberation for the oppressed, your defense for the defenseless, your love for the widow and the orphan, and your protection for the poor.  Lord, help me to have a steadfast mind.  Keep me in your peace.  Keep me in your care.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 26:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“Arise Shine, for your Light has Come!”

Arise Shine, for Your Light Has Come!

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The Book of Isaiah is set upon the backdrop of Babylonian exile.  In the midst of the great exile the Word of God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to tell the people that a new day is about to dawn.  God was ready to bring the exiles home.

In like manner, these words are still encouraging.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with the burdens of the day like financial strain, relationship strain, and the strains of health.  The good news of Jesus Christ is that all things can be made new.

The rise and setting of the sun is symbolic of the newness that God can bring to our lives.  The rising sun reminds us that God has given us another day and where there is life, there is hope.

 

Isaiah 60 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. [1]

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What is it about the Lord that can make a depressed person feel better and good about themselves?
  2. What are your thoughts about the “Glory of the Lord?”

 

Prayer:

Shine your light Lord. Shine your light!  In the fog of confusion, I need your light.  In the gloom of despair, I need your hope.  Shine on me and I shall live.  Shine on me and I will be renewed.  Shine upon me and I will blossom.  Touch me now Lord and I will bring others to the good news of your salvation.  Bless me now and I will bless others as I lead them to the throne of your everlasting love.  Through Jesus Chris our Lord and Savior I pray.  Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Is 60:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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