As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Isaiah 9:1-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
As a minister and as a person I have experienced darkness. I have met people who are consumed by darkness. I have been consumed by darkness. I don’t mean darkness in that people are doing evil all the time, or that a constant scheming to benefit by ill-gotten, means. I mean to say that life is difficult and a sense of darkness surrounds people so much so that there seems to be no light. That people feel this life is nothing but despair and hopelessness.
We live in a society where depression and anxiety are rampant. We take more medicine for depression and anxiety than any other country in the world. We lead the world in the purchase of self-help books. We participate in fad diets so that we can recreate our bodies–maybe that will bring us some happiness.
Our text this morning reminds us that light is not found from within us. We can not conjure up the light which makes living this life joyful. It comes from something outside of ourselves. God has created light out of the darkness and offers us a way through the darkness in Jesus Christ. We do not create light, but we come into the light through submission of our hearts, minds, and wills in Jesus Christ.
God, help us to desire you and all the goodness you give us in Jesus Christ. Help us to live in the light so that we may see the life you give us correctly. In Jesus name, Amen.
Go with God!