Light in the Darkness
The birth of Jesus is the most spectacular of miracles. The eternal God took on flesh and came and dwelt among His people. His mission was to save mankind. His purpose was to reconcile us back to God. The incarnation is the miracle of all miracles.
Over the next seven weeks a team of writers will guide us to take a fresh look at this most amazing event. They will take seven Bible passages, all commonly read at Christmastime, and briefly unpack the meaning. Each post will also contain ideas for reflection, a song of worship and a video on the same theme for children. Full details of a craft activity which develops in seven parts to create a beautiful decoration will be available to download. Our hope and prayer is that week by week each of us, younger or older, will be able to take a fresh look upon Jesus, the Light in the Darkness.
The Light Foretold
(Isaiah 9:2-7) Beccy Clay
Welcome to Advent: the season of the coming Light! I love this passage; it reminds me of carol services as a child. Amidst the flickering candles, carols, mince pies & sausage rolls, this prophecy from Isaiah 9 would always be read, predicting a time when God would squeeze into human frame, and turn the darkness to light.
From darkness to light
Written 700 years before Jesus’ birth, the coming of the Light of the World was foretold. Isaiah spoke hope onto the horizon and this hope sustained the Israelites through 400 years of God’s silence when they lived in darkness. Even the geography gives us some clues about the coming Light. Zebulun and Naphtali, in the north of the land, had been vulnerable to invasion and they lived with this anguish and shame. But from the land of Galilee, this trampled part of the country, would shine a light in the darkness, and become a blessing to those who were oppressed.
‘The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.’ (v2)
The Light revealed
Isaiah prophesied into a land of darkness, calling into being what seemed impossible. Yet, only in darkness can you see light. Indeed, perhaps the darker the darkness, the brighter a light appears. This contrast is what Jesus offers. The Light would be revealed and people would see Him for who is really is! It’s prophesied that He will bring joy (v3), break the chains of the oppressed (v4) and will rule with justice, peace and righteousness. Wow, such grace! Jesus came for those entrenched in darkness, for all of us who are in spiritual need, switching on the Light that would never be put out.
A surprising vision of Light
A great light was prophesied long ahead of Jesus birth, but this package of light was predicted to appear in unexpected form. The coming King, the long-awaited Messiah, would arrive as a baby, helpless and vulnerable. The King of all eternity ‘contracted to a span’ and became human – a child. He was the descendant promised to David and would rule on David’s throne.
‘For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.’ (v6)
The names of Light
The names given to the coming King ooze the essence of His character. This child is the ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (v7). In contrast to Israel’s kings, the promised Messiah would usher in perfect peace and will reign ‘from that time and for ever’ (v7). In this Advent season we anticipate the fulness of His perfect reign – the Light has come into the darkness and transformed it.
Light from every angle
Light shines from every angle in the Christmas story and over the next few weeks of this Advent we will explore the arrival of the Light. The sky lights up to announce the good news to the Shepherds. A bright star directs the wise men to Jesus. Angelic hosts fill the stage. This Light has been long prophesied and long awaited, and its power to dispel darkness is as relevant a message today as it was when foretold all those years ago.
May the Light shine in your darkness this Christmas season.
Why not switch the lights off, light a candle and spend time reflecting on Jesus the Light of the World?
How confident do you feel that He dispels darkness? Let Him build faith in you.
Which of God’s names used in this passage (see verse 7) speak to you at the moment? His character never changes and His reign will never end.
Song: Unto Us
XplosionTV Bitesize: a video for children and the young at heart
A craft activity is available for the whole blog series. Please download the star instructions