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 season of epiphany moves us from a season of indulgence, to a season marked by gift giving that honors God. What kinds of gifts do we give? And how do these gifts honor God by honoring the dignity and agency all of God’s children?
There is such a thing as a ‘near-life experience,’ a transforming encounter with the light of life. The Transfiguration describes a remarkable encounter of such a kind, an encounter that may find pale reflections in our own lives, much needed at the current time.
Jesus calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. What would these metaphors have meant to his first hearers?