Section 3: The Light Dawns
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas Day, prepare your heart to read this familiar story through fresh eyes. Notice how light is present, from the star above the city of Bethlehem to the glory of God represented by the angels. Discover anew the dawning of the promised Light of the World in a baby boy born to a virgin, placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn.
When we read of “people walking in darkness” or a “land of darkness” it’s not hard to relate. That’s our reality. We feel the burden of the world’s evil daily—injustice, political upheaval, heinous crimes, greed, spite, dishonesty, exploitation, outrage, slander. And that’s all just in the morning’s headlines and a scroll through social media. It feels dark in our land. And in darkness we feel lost, like there is no obvious solution or way out. We struggle to even imagine a light that could drive out this darkness.
But that is what Scripture promises. Or, more accurately, who Scripture promises.
When Isaiah 9:2 says, “a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness,” it sounds pleasant, like the soft glow of morning. But does it stack up against the overwhelming bleak darkness of this world? Well, consider the following, then answer that question.
This Light will increase the joy and rejoicing of the people (Isaiah 9:3). It will break the yoke and rod of oppression (v.4). It will turn war implements into kindling (v.5). It will establish a government marked by never ending prosperity, righteousness, and justice governed by the Prince of Peace (vv.6–7). That is no metaphor, and it is about as similar to pleasant as the sun is to a candle.
Christ (for, of course, He is the light prophesied about here as Matthew 4:15–16 explains) is no simple spark in the darkness. He drives out the darkness. Jesus is not a candle in a cave, He is the sun burning away the gloom and shadows of evil. That’s why Isaiah said a light has “dawned”—Jesus brought a new day of His perfect, everlasting kingdom.
Yes, it is still dark here, but it’s not pitch black. Jesus did come, that child promised in Isaiah 9. He did establish His kingdom of righteousness and peace. And He will one day return in all His blazing glory to drive out all darkness, forever. In the meantime the light of Jesus shines through His Word and His people by the power of His Spirit. We face evils daily, but we do not face them alone. “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—whom should I dread?” (Psalms 27:1)
Jesus is our light, today, in this dark world. He is our salvation from evil, that which surrounds us and that which lives in us. And that means the darkness will not overcome us. We need not fear. Like Micah, we can boldly say “the LORD will be my light” (Micah 7:8).