Tim McNinch is a doctoral student in Hebrew Bible at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He is an editor for the “Politics of Scripture” blog on the Political Theology Network, and co-hosts “First Reading: the Old Testament Lectionary Podcast” (firstreadingpodcast.com).
Matthew’s careful quotation of Isaiah 60 urges us to perceive that the birth of the poor, brown boy in a back corner of the Roman empire was the dawning of God’s glory upon humanity. Let us, then, celebrate—not with fear and self-preservation, but with confident investment in human flourishing.
The innate ambiguity of the political themes raised by this week’s first lectionary text should lead us to hold together both our desire for cohesion as the “people of God” and that same desire’s potential for exclusion—exclusion that we must diligently recognize and actively hold in check.