The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them a light has dawned.
Today is winter solstice. the shortest day of the year. You could say it is the darkest day of the year. I have to confess that as a child I was afraid of the dark - of "things" in and of the dark - real or imagined. I dreaded night and bedtime. As I grew older, I no longer associated that dread with bedtime. The fear shifted to the darkness in me or that lurked just around the corner, feelings of fear, loneliness, depression, anxiety, __________. You fill in the blank. We all have some shadows that we are afraid to see, some feeling of despair that knocks at the door or that tries to creep in under the threshold.
Yet there is another knock at the door. (Revelation 3:20) It is the knock of Jesus Christ, who slipped into our darkness in the most humble and lowliest of ways. The prophet Isaiah speaks to this. A great Light has dawned - "He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
The shepherds saw this Light. They were watching in the darkness when an angel appeared to them with the Glory of the Lord shinning all around them. Ironically they were afraid of the light. "but the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the city of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.'" Luke 2:10-11
In that very dark and desolate period of history the Light shinned on shepherds and told them to be hopeful - It filled them with joy. Isaiah had spoken of it hundreds of year earlier, and years later the apostle John, the one who called himself "the beloved" wrote this: "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:6
So today being the darkest day, we can look at the natural world and let it be our teacher. We can be hopeful that tomorrow there will be a little more light, and the day after tomorrow there will be a bit more, and the next even more...Until one day there will be no need for the sun at all because the Glory of God will be our light for eternity, because it pleases Him to dwell with us. (Revelation 21)
For now we place our hope in this:
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
Merry Christmas from all of us at King's Camp! He is Immanuel, God with us! - Jennifer