"Leave a Light on..."
The bass from this one echoed around the church as we prayed. The subwoofer had to be on.
Isaiah 2:2 says:
"In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple
will be established as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it."
Or in other words:
"If you look into the distance, there's a house upon the hill
Guiding like a lighthouse
It's a place where you'll be safe to feel our grace
'Cause we've all made mistakes"
What if the house of God, the temple on the mountain was like a lighthouse, a beacon calling out to all those in distress, welcoming all who were lost?
What if that Temple were the Church?
What if the people who follow Jesus were given a mandate to keep the light on for those who needed to find a way home?
If only Jesus had said:
"You are the light of the world.
A town (or a temple, perhaps!?) built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Light brings hope, and guidance, clarity and warmth. But one o the things light does is something we don't talk about in church.
When you go camping and dusk is falling and you turn on a light you attract a whole host of bugs. Uncomfortable creatures who make us itch, that sometimes bite and suck blood, that we want to swat away are drawn to the light.
Isaiah is prophesying of a time when the temple would do the same. The light of the temple that was originally for just the people of God will attract all nations, all sorts of people who make the Israelites uncomfortable, including their enemies. But all would gather in the light to worship.
I think we need to be aware that we are called to be a light, to leave that light on, and attract the people that make us uncomfortable. To be a people and a place of welcome and refuge for the world around us, a place to show and find grace because we've all made mistakes.
Tom Walker is calling out to a friend who has been lost to addiction, who he wants to welcome home and help, and declares that he will leave a light on.
I wonder if we could declare the same as people of faith calling those with needs home to the embrace of God? Could we really be a place of love, welcome and blessing?
Or will we do what I inevitably do when I'm camping and swat them away?
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Lent 2023 Playlist
If you'd rather listen and come to your own conclusions about the eclectic mix of songs I'm working through in Lent 2023, here's the Spotify Playlist!