I caught my first glimpse of them as a college student. On a frosty, fall night, far from the lights of the city, I was riding on a hay wagon loaded with noisy friends when the sky lit up and colors flashed across the horizon. I was mesmerized. Ever since that night I have been fascinated with the phenomenon called aurora borealis, also known as northern lights. Mostly they are seen far north of where I live, but occasionally they appear in lower latitudes. Having seen them once, I long to see more. Whenever the conditions are favorable, I say to my equally fascinated friends, “Maybe tonight . . .”
Throughout Scripture, light and glory are used to describe the coming of the Lord. A time is coming when the sun and moon will be unnecessary (Isa. 60:19). And in describing God on His throne, the apostle John wrote, “The one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne” (Rev. 4:3).
An emerald circle is an apt description of the northern lights. So whenever I see glorious light displays in the skies above—whether in person or via picture or video—I think of it as a foretaste of what is to come, and I praise God that even now His glory pierces the darkness.
Lord, the world around us is sometimes so dark that it is difficult to see Your power and goodness. Thank You for the reminders that the darkness does not and will not last forever. Help us wait with great expectation for the day when we will see You on Your throne.
Jesus came to give light to a dark world.
In today’s passage, Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of what life will be like in God’s eternal kingdom. Using the imagery of light and darkness, Isaiah tells the people of Israel that the presence of God will ensure that their problems will never appear again. It is not that light simply makes problems disappear; it is that in the presence of God, only goodness and righteousness can exist. One day the darkness of our lives will be illuminated by the presence of God. J.R. Hudberg