Darkness and the Light – Week of January 23, 2023
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Alaska is on my bucket list. Alaska ticks a lot of boxes for me: snow, mountains, lakes. One of the things that fascinates me is the times of the year where the amount of darkness in given day is almost nonexistent. How do you get kids to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep when it’s light out almost all night long? On the other hand, days that are almost completely dark? I would love to experience both. Of the two options, the harder one for me would the time of almost complete darkness. There is something about the dark that can be unsettling even for adults.
Today’s verse talks about people walking in darkness. Imagine an artist’s depiction of that scene. People wandering, looking around in fear and confusion. However, the darkness referred to is far more frightening than a power outage or the darkness of a windowless room. The darkness is life without God. Sin or unbelief are like a blanket of darkness that covers people with despair, hopelessness, fear, or spiritual confusion. It’s that “middle of the night and I cannot sleep” kind of anxiousness but much more.
And then, there it is. A Light! Like the sun rising after a sleepless night, the Light brings hope. Again, the Light in this verse is far more than the sun or a lightbulb. The Light is Jesus. Just a few verses down from today’s reading we hear, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) This is a light that no other light can hold a candle to! It’s Jesus, our Savior who is everything we need. Read through the names again slowly. He’s our Counselor, our Mighty God who rules over everything, our Everlasting Father who loves us with an immeasurable love, and our Prince of Peace. That peace is the peace of knowing our sins are forgiven and the promise of heaven is ours. Jesus is the light that breaks the worst darkness we have and gives the greatest light there is through faith.
I’m not sure if I’ll get that trip to Alaska and experience the days of almost complete darkness. But even thinking about it reminds me that no matter how dark life can seem, how challenging a day can be, we have Jesus. He is our Light, our Counselor, our Peace. Not only do we get to bask in the light of his love and forgiveness for us, we also get to share it with others. May we all reflect that Light each day.
Dear Jesus, I know what it’s like to be afraid of the dark. I also know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by the darkness of sin and this world. Thank you for being the Light that came to take away the darkness of sin and for giving me the peace of knowing that you are my Savior. In your name I pray this. Amen
Christian Worship 21 382/ Christian Worship 93 90 The People that in Darkness Sat