Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you... And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1, 3
In the Early Church, Epiphany was a church festival associated with the Wise Men from the East and Christ's Baptism. How appropriate that when we think of new beginnings at the start of 2017, we remember our own Baptism and the new life we received by having God's name placed upon us: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
While we rejoice in the sharing of Luther's Small Catechism in Farsi with Iranians in Germany, Denmark, Finland and other European countries last year, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 will see more opportunities to share the Word of God through LHF books.
Soon, Afghan refugees will have a large-print prayer and devotional booklet that will answer questions many Muslims have about the Christian faith, such as "What am I obligated to DO for my salvation?" Only "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" is the heartwarming reply!
Celebrating the Reformation will also coincide with LHF's own 25th anniversary, of which you will hear more throughout the year. But suffice it to say that for now, LHF will continue its primary work of translation the Small Catechism into new languages: Mongolian, Albanian, Bimoba [Ghana], Azeri, Mandinka [Gambia], Oromo [Ethiopia], Enga [Papua New Guinea] and Jarai [Cambodia], for starters.
In addition, A Child's Garden of Bible Stories will soon see its first printing in Arabic, and translation work will continue on this book in Farsi, Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Batak [Indonesia], Akha [Southeast Asia] and Dinka [South Sudan], among other languages.
So at the start of a new year, may your beginning be made in our Savior's name. With the prophet Isaiah, we, too, shout into the spiritual darkness of our world, "Arise, shine, for your light has come" - the Light of the world, who is our Lord Jesus Christ!