Isa. 60:1-5 – Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
This is a powerful prophetic passage describing the beauty and radiance of the church. The word that grabs my attention in this passage is ‘radiant’. It is an unusual word that literally means to shimmer, to stream or flow like a river. Isaiah is prophesying about the beauty of Christ seen in His radiant bride. We literally shimmer with His glory. Jonathan Edwards spoke about this quality seen in the church.
“As God delights in his own beauty, he must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it, as truly as [the] brightness of a jewel, held in the sun’s beams, is a participation or derivation of the sun’s brightness, though immensely less in degree.”
Years ago I was given a gift from a jeweler. It was a ring containing a star ruby. I never heard of a star ruby but it had a very unusual characteristic. If you took this ring into the direct sunlight you could see the sun shining from the ruby. Of course the light didn’t originate with the ruby, it was reflected glory. That pretty much describes the church, we are like the star rubies of the Lord, if we stay in the light we reflect His powerful glory for others to see and admire.
Two words of warning from this illustration. First, you must stay in the light if you want others to see His glory. The light is the revelation of Christ we find in His word and in His presence. We step out of the light and the radiance is gone. Secondly, never ever ever begin to think that the beauty comes from you or your works. We have the privilege of displaying reflected glory, the radiance shines from Christ alone.