Reading: Isaiah 9: 1-4
Today Isaiah brings a joyful pronouncement. Although there was much darkness and oppression when Isaiah spoke this prophecy, it brought hope. Yet the darkness and oppression remained. When Jesus was born, the prophecy was fulfilled. Out of Bethlehem, from out of the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, came Jesus, the Savior and light of the world. Jesus was and is the great light of the world. Yet still the darkness and oppression remained. These forces of evil remain to this day. So too does the light of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ still reigns, still seeks to win people’s hearts, still works to shine light into the darkness.
In His day, Jesus walked the earth and taught and healed and brought hope. Jesus Christ worked to bring the kingdom of God to the earth. In doing so, Jesus offered hope and mercy and forgiveness and relationship to all He met. His offer is the same today. But for people to meet Jesus today, they must meet Him in the Word of God and in us. One can begin with the Word, but I believe people learn best by seeing and experiencing. The most effective way we have of sharing Jesus is not by giving someone a Bible, but by sharing what it looks like to live out the Bible by how we live our lives.
Jesus began a great work by defeating the power of sin and death. Through the cross and the tomb, Jesus freed us from these chains. He did this so that we who are imperfect could follow the example of He who was perfect. It is our task, as loved and redeemed people, to help others to come to live as loved and redeemed people. We do so by continuing the work of Jesus. We go forth and shine light into the dark places; we work to end oppression and to bring justice; and, we live on people just as Jesus loves on us.
A light has dawned… we have seen a great light. May we go forth, eager to share the light of Christ as we seek to bring the good news to the ends of the earth.