In this time of year, and really all throughout the year, the book of Isaiah is a great book for us to read as Christians. There are so many beautiful references to Jesus within its pages, so many prophecies that point to His coming, His life, His death, and His resurrection.
Today’s reading is one of the more well-known ones, from Isaiah 9. We know the end of the passage quite well where we are told
6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.
But when I was reading it today, I was especially drawn to what comes before, what we find in 1-2:
1But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness- on them light has shined
To those living great darkness, light has come. Darkness can feel overwhelming, can’t it? It feels as though in sweeps over you, envelopes you, overwhelms you. Darkness can feel strong and powerful, darkness can feel as though it has no end, that it will not stop and you will remain in it forever.
That is the darkness of grief. Of loneliness. Of addiction. Of sin. Of all the brokenness that swirls within our life. Sometimes this darkness seems as though it may be the only reality that we will ever truly know.
And so, today, listen these words. A light has come. And this light shines in the darkness. This light drives out the darkness. This light brings hope. And joy. And peace. And forgiveness. And light.
The darkness may be here in this moment. I’m not trying to tell you that darkness doesn’t come into our lives in painful ways. But what I’m telling you is that through Christmas, light has come.
Light shines in the darkness. Darkness is driven away. Light comes.
Don’t give into the despair that comes through the darkness. Don’t give into the fear and sadness and hopelessness that darkness leads to.
Live in the Light. Live in hope. You are forgiven. You are not hopeless. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. You are loved, valued, and precious.
You are God’s very own.
And the light has come. Don’t forget that. Live in that Light which has come.