The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of the death,
Upon them a light has shined. Isaiah 9:2 (NKJV)
Lights are a symbol of hope, warmth and excitement. No wonder I embrace the ambiance of Christmas with the strings of Christmas streetlights; beautiful lanterns, candlelight, even the spectacular northern lights are visible from time to time. Isn’t it amazing that God is called the “Father of lights”? Jesus is the “light of the world”! We are called “into his wonderful light”!
A painter painted a bleak picture of a winter scene. It depicted a storm sweeping across the countryside. Over in the corner there was a cabin, but it still looked dead and hopeless. But with one small stroke, the painter dramatically transformed the picture. He took the tip of his brush, dipped it in gold paint, touched one window of the cabin, and the golden glow from that cabin transformed the picture from coldness to invitation to come in; from a picture of death to life, from a picture of gloom to gladness. Jesus said:
I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. John 12:46 (NASB)
We love to sing, “Silent night, holy night,” but this great carol is not about night or darkness. It’s about the light.
Son of God,
Love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace.
When we sing Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, we say:
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Isaiah reminds us of the birth of Christ:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined… for a child has been born for us, a son given to us. Isaiah 9:2,6 (ESVUK)
Jesus tells us:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14 (NASB)
Paul picks up on this as well when he says:
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light… Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV)
It’s a simple message: let your light shine. Don’t hide your testimony. Relay hope and realise the strength of collective light. Each house in a city with its light on casts a glow across the sky. The combined impact of many lights together illustrates the effect of a community of disciples on the surrounding darkness. In the words of Isaiah 60:1
For your light has come! Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV)