Isaiah 9:2-7 (NRSV)
Verse 2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness- on them light has shined. Verse 3You 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. Verse 4For 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. Verse 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. Verse 6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Verse 7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Perhaps one of the most famous and comforting passages in the Bible is this one: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” The passage says it all about our faith in God. As we stumble through our days, coping with the nitty gritty of the daily complexities of late-modern technological life in America, we might often feel like we are fumbling around in the dark. But God promises that our sorrows—and the darkness—will come to an end. This poem in Isaiah shows us that God is the light at the end of the tunnel. It shows us that God is the bright north star that guides us. And that we will find a way. The joy of this realization is palpable among the people in darkness who are perceiving the light, no matter how far away or small it might appear.
Dear God, show us the light of your grace, your love, and the sunshine of a welcoming, vital future for us and for the children of future generations. Help us examine our lives and make the adjustments necessary so that we can partner with you to be lights at the ends of people’s tunnels. In your Holy Spirit we pray, Amen.