The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2
When the Word of the Lord came to the prophet Isaiah, he spoke to a people who, much like those of our busy and difficult times, were caught up in the struggle against the powers of the world. Living in exile for many years, many of the people of Israel were made to bow to idols and false gods. They were captive in a foreign land unable to sing the sacred songs of the Lord. Still, there remained a faithful remnant who continued to offer their worship to God in ways they prayed would be acceptable in His sight.
Today, Christians find themselves in a similar situation. Our progressive society strives to discourage public profession of faith. Public prayer is replaced with moments of silence lest Christians offend others. And the world, in its continued attempt to reinforce secular observance to the day Christians celebrate our Lord’s birth, demands the removal of symbols, songs and language reminding us of God’s ultimate gift to humanity. How ironic that the powers that defy God insist on a skewed celebration the day when God came to earth, but stand so strongly against the mere mention of Jesus at Christmas. Certainly, people are still walking in darkness.
Isaiah’s prophetic witness bears truth to the power of God’s love. Living as a people fallen into sin, humanity walks in the darkness of a world separated from God’s love by sin. Yet God’s promises stand firm; “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). The power of God’s love is measured by the gift of salvation brought to those who call upon the Lord and believe Jesus is light for our darkened world.
Today, living as people walking in the light of Christ, Christians continue in the struggle to worship God in ways that are pleasing in His sight. We offer our songs of praise and lift up our prayerful concerns with such belief that God has already fully addressed our needs. God calls His people to live differently than as the world lives. He calls us to remain faithful in times of trial and to take every opportunity to share the good news of Christ the Lord. God help us to remain faithful to this calling, and cause us to be faithful reflections of the light of Christ the Lord.