The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
A light has dawned on our darkness
The year was 1940. The situation for England looked rather dark. On the European front, Nazi Germany had already invaded and conquered Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In just 46 days, Germany conquered all of France. Hitler then set his sights on England, and with France out of the fight, the darkness of the Third Reich was just across the English Channel. The Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, had two options: negotiate terms of peace with Hitler or face imminent invasion. Churchill would call this dark time in English History “the darkest hour,” not to imply that there was no hope for England, but because—as the saying goes—“it’s always darkest before the dawn.”
Maybe you’ve paged through this chapter of world history already at school. Thing is, we don’t have to page back to 1940 in any history book to see the darkness in our world. Hitler is long gone, yet we still see abundant proof that we still live in a sinful, dark world. We see it on our phones. We hear about it at school. We read it in our newsfeeds. We experience it personally in our own lives. Maybe it’s when you’re bullied. Maybe it’s after someone breaks into your house. Or maybe it is that sinful habit you’re struggling with? Maybe it’s anger or jealousy? Maybe you struggle to be patient with your classmates? Maybe there’s guilt in your heart from something you said, something you thought, or something you did. You have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror when you get ready in the morning. The darkness around you seems so deep, you start to doubt whether God’s light could possibly make any difference. “There’s no way God can fix someone this broken. There is no way God can forgive me—that God could love someone like me. Could God’s light really shine on my darkness?”
The answer is yes! A light has dawned: Jesus. Jesus—the light of life—healed the sick, raised the dead, preached forgiveness of sins and life eternal to every nation dwelling in darkness. Jesus took on human flesh to live in our dark world, to be tempted, to hunger, to thirst. Our God took on flesh so the very face of his love and compassion was seen weeping at the funeral of a loved one. To pull us out of our darkness, out of death and suffering, our Savior himself suffered and died—not as a victim of darkness, but as the hero who ran into the mouth of the beast and conquered it! For you. So that you would have life and life to the full. Because he lives, we also will live. Darkness has no hold on us! Not sin. Not guilt. Not Satan. Not death. For Christ, the light of life, has shined on our darkness.
“It is always darkest before the dawn.” I’d modify that saying. “For those in darkness, a light has dawned.” That light is Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for shining on my darkness. Thank you for preaching and proclaiming your Word to me, for bringing me to faith, and making me your child. Amen.