“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; for those that live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9:2, NLT )
It could be said that the world at the time of Jesus was a time that mighty nation of Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem had lost their way. They were having a hard time understanding that Jesus was the Messiah and he could release them from their bondage under a foreign government. The past was troubled and there were few possibilities of hope with many frustrations all around them. The difficulties of their lives were ever present and the answers were ever illusive. They were stumbling in the darkness of their understanding and unaware that their feeling of heaviness came from their own sinful pride. It might be said even today: we cannot understand all there is to life, as we struggle with the weight of the past, the difficulties of the present and the uncertainty of the future. We struggle with the darkness of not understanding the little frustrations in our lives but also with the huge unanswerable questions. We drift into darkness with our flirtations with sin and pride stumbling to find our way out of those places. We get depressed with our failures, frustrated with our unfulfilled dreams and saddened with our frailties as we face disease and death. We are staggered by storms in our lives and constantly wish we could see ahead and grasp the future. In some ways our understanding of things seems to be lit with an inadequate faltering light.
What will Jesus do with all this darkness of unknowning and all of these lingering doubts? There is a constant inability in all of us to see what is ahead and at the same time there is an endless desiring in us to understand what is behind us, around us and ahead of us. It is the human condition. The ancient peoples struggled in the human condition when God sent His Son and it remains a difficulty for us today.
The Son who was to be the Savior, entered the world as a tiny child in the room fit for animals and this did not seem to be the answer. On the surface it looks like a most fragile of promises. Yet this Jesus came as Light and Life. He would shine in the darkest of moments bringing a new light to the world. He shines now for all those who will open their eyes to the hope He brings. He is the One who knows everything and we should trust Him with our past, present and future. He is the One who could with His voice calm the sea and we can trust Him with our fears. He is the One who penetrates our darkness and we should look to Him for understanding. He was and is the Light of the world and in Him all will find a way in our darkness. He is waiting to shine the light of His presence towards you, behind you, in front of you and all around you. In that light you find God’s wondrous love that came as baby in a manger and later gave His life as the answer for your sin and mine. The true light of Christmas isn’t colored and electric but pure and powerful. The light that Jesus Christ brings is able to penetrate the darkness that we all face, providing true answers to every question and a love that heals our greatest pain. May we always and forever be a people who “see a great light.”
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’” (John 8:12, NLT)
Suggested Reading … John 8