Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
Matthew 4:16 “the people living in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
I don’t know if these verses really were more prevalent than normal in the advent devotionals I read this past advent season, of if they just stood out to me more than they normally do, but I haven’t been able to shake them. They keep playing over and over in my head and I have been wrestling with the question of why?.
In these verses, I have felt a challenge to really consider what it looks like to live as people who have seen this light that the verses speak of.
Often I feel like these verses are use to imply that those who live outside of our Christian views are living in darkness and that they need to experience the light and hope that comes with living a life connected to the Father, Son & Spirit. And while I do long for those who don’t know Jesus to experience the gift of relationship with him, I can’t help but wonder, are we really being a people of light to those around us, so that they want to know Jesus.
Have we, as followers of Jesus, let this light transform our lives?
In Isaiah 9, the verses continue on to speak of joy and rejoicing (4 times alone in verse 3!) and as you read through the rest of that passage, it is clear that the light that “the people” are experiencing is the reign and rule of Jesus. If the reign of this light, Jesus, is one that brings joy and peace, justice and righteousness, are we being witnesses of that kingdom to the world around us. Are we living as conduits of His light?
In my life, if I have truly experienced this transformation of moving from a life in darkness, to a life in the light of Christ, how does that impact the relationships I have with those around me?Like Saul’s encounter with the light from heaven in Acts 9, has my meeting with Jesus transformed me? How does it shape my daily interactions with people?
As I have sat with these verses over the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve noticed a new awareness as I go about my daily tasks. As I meet with people from our church community, as I go on dates, as I prepare for upcoming initiatives at our church and with work that I’m doing with our NAB Missional Initiatives team – I feel a new sense of purpose and passion to be thankful for the light that I have encountered and to do the best that I can to bring that light into the lives of those I spend my time with.
In the midst of thinking about these verse, we had a New Years Eve celebration at our local community league. As the fireworks started, I stood with others in awe of how the quick bursts of light lit up the night sky. These bursts of light brought colour and warmth to the night sky that lingered, even when that light had done its job. I want my life to be a bit like those fireworks, maybe not so loud and startling, but I want my life to bring light, colour and warmth to those around me in such a way that they long for more of it and hopefully get drawn to the greatest source of light so that they can experience it for themselves.