Isaiah 9:2 ESV:

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shone.”

When is the last time you bought a light bulb? I went to the store not long ago to purchase some light bulbs and I didn’t know what to pick. LED, compact fluorescent, regular. White glow, soft white, yellow glow, natural, frosted, dimmable, non-dimmable. I just wanted a lightbulb. I wasn’t prepared to make such a major decision. So, to test, I got a little of each. So, as you go through our house, each room is lit differently in my lighting experiment. All just to light up the room so I don’t step on the kids’ Legos.

We’ve grown accustomed to darkness, haven’t we? We have all sorts of lighting options these days, even on our phones. The person who thought up a light on your cell phone should be given a Noble Prize. We’re used to the darkness, but instinctively, we want to light it up. Why is that? I think it’s because even though we’ve gotten used to darkness, we know deep down that we were created to be creatures of light.

Physics teaches us that darkness doesn’t exist, it is just the absence of light. Well, if that’s’ true, we see a lot of “absence of light” in our world, don’t we? From the killing of innocent people, to genocide, to famine, to families living in desperate poverty. Every day there seems to be some new story about the Opioid Crisis. Drugs, crime, political scandals. Families torn apart. Marriages we thought would last forever crumbling before our eyes. All you must do is to scroll through your social media to see instances of “absence of light.”

And I haven’t even touched on the darkness that often pervades our own souls. Anxiety, depression, regret, guilt, shame, brokenness. These work through many of us on a regular basis. So, we must contend not only with external darkness, but the absence of light in our hearts as well.

That’s why Advent can be such a blessing. As we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas, we take ourselves through the story that is familiar to many of us. We are reminded again that Christmas brings Hope.

When Isaiah said “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;” he actually was talking about a future event. Someday, the people who have been walking in darkness, living without the presence of light, will see a great light. He was talking about the coming of the Messiah. He would someday shine light on people living without light. That gave hope to the Jewish people and so today it gives us hope.

While we live in a world seemingly filled with darkness, Jesus has come that we may have light, His light. If darkness is the absence of light, all you need to dispel it to add light. In John 8:12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”

Even while we follow Jesus, we still battle the darkness. But our hope is in the One who has already defeated darkness. We look forward to someday being in His presence. Of that day, Revelation 22:5 says, “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

This Christmas season, no matter how dark the days may get, no matter what struggles you may encounter, have hope in the light of Jesus Christ. He is our hope.

Adam Will is a native of Meigs County, residing in the Texas Community with his wife and three children. He is the Lead Pastor of Mount Hermon United Brethren in Christ Church. He loves reading, engaging with others, and seeing people transformed by following Jesus. You can dialogue with him by emailing pastor.adamwill@gmail.com , or listen to his messages by going to Mount Hermon’s website at www.mounthermonub.org .Find his blog at www.adamwill.net