Your sun shall no more go down,
or your moon withdraw itself;
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of mourning shall be ended.
When my girls were little, they wanted us to leave the hall light on when we put them to bed. We are all afraid of the things that go bump in the night. A dark street is more threatening than the light of day. And we are reluctant to reach into places where we cannot see.
The ancient world was a world without flashlights – and its candles were dim. The stars may shine brightly, but the night is still dangerous and the city gates are locked when the sun goes down.
The author of Revelation uses this verse from Isaiah for his depiction of the New Jerusalem, portraying a city that has no need of sun or moon for the Lord is its light. The prophet doesn’t mean this literally, nor does John of Patmos, but the image bears witness to a world with no “night” in which thieves come, terror strikes or fear rules. Through these prophets God lifts our eyes towards that world where grief at the sorrows of the world is forever ended and all creation is made radiant by God’s perfect presence.
We have seen the light of that day in Christ Jesus – and in his light we live.