As the autumn of the year marches on, the daylight hours diminish. With each passing day there is less light and greater darkness. Many times life also feels that way, doesn’t it? Stumbling through the latest crisis, be it personal or global, we look about and think,“My Lord, how much darker it seems.”
Many times in the history of the Hebrew people, times when they were being threatened by powerful enemies, they too must have looked about and thought, “My Lord, how dark!” Surrounded by powerful armies, threatened with exile, lamenting the loss of land, culture and history, they had to feel abandoned, hopeless. It was into this time of darkness that the prophet Isaiah came forth bearing a word of the Lord. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! (Isaiah 2:5)
Isaiah spoke the Word, light into the midst of their darkness, to remind them that they were not abandoned, not alone, not without hope. God was going to continue to provide for them a future and a way toward that future. There was hope for them in God’s promises. Using images such as the mountain of the Lord’s house, a dessert blossoming forth, waters breaking forth in the wilderness, a young woman with child, and a little child leading them, Isaiah was pointing to how God would bring his people out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.
When we wander into
Valleys far from home
Where shadows hover over our toes
Find us in your mercy
Savior of the world.
You are the light of the world.
Jesus is the light.
Lead us out of darkness
And into your marvelous light.
God’s promises are not relegated to the distant past. God is even now providing us with a future and a way toward that future. There is hope for you, for us as God’s people, and for the whole of God’s creation. It may seem to be getting darker. But, there is a light, a marvelous light toward which God is leading us.
This Advent, may we remember, Jesus is the light. And may we join with God’s people throughout all time in trusting God’s promises, trusting that God will indeed lead us out of darkness and into his marvelous light.