Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever…The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:1a. 2. 4. 6).
Once we were a people of darkness. We dwelt, lived and walked in darkness. We were without hope and devoid of peace. We were overwhelmed by pain, sorrow, despair, and destruction. And then You appeared. Your presence and light bring order and comfort, relief and hope, and fulfillment and satisfaction.
You, being in very nature God, made Yourself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness; You humbled Yourself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8).
Your birth, death and resurrection changed everything. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven has broken upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace (Luke 1:78-9). Those “who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined” (Matthew 4:16).
Prayer: Jesus, may our eyes be fixed on You during this Christmas season. In the midst of busyness and year-end deadlines, or through a season that may be difficult for us to get through having experienced loss or grief, may we remember that You, Prince of Peace, are our constant light, hope and peace. No matter what circumstances we face, You are the reason we can celebrate. We were once a people who lived in darkness; but then You came and rescued us, and brought us into light. And in Your light, we can see our troubles, even those that hurt the most, as “momentary, light affliction” that produces for us an eternal glory far beyond all comparison (1 Corinthians 4:16). Our hope, because of Christmas, is You. Amen.