Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the people, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Life In the Light
When the sun sets in Utqiagvik, Alaska, in late November, it doesn’t rise again for about 65 days. Can you imagine not seeing the sunlight for over two months? Or let’s go a step further, can you imagine life with no light whatsoever? No sunlight. No light fixtures in your home. No headlights on your car. No glow from your cell phone. No lanterns, candles, or matches. Total darkness would present some serious challenges for travel, work, and overall productivity.
When the prophet Isaiah speaks about the “thick darkness” covering the people, he’s not referring to an annual geographic anomaly or a hypothetical blackout; he’s talking about life without a God who loves, forgives, and saves.
Can you imagine that kind of darkness? Can you imagine life without a heavenly Father watching over you and sending his angels to protect you? Can you imagine a life without a baby being born in Bethlehem, without a crucifixion on Mount Calvary, without a resurrection on Easter morning? Can you imagine your ears never hearing these words, “Jesus loves you. Jesus forgives you. Jesus has opened heaven for you.”
You’ll never have to imagine such dark, depressing things because “your light has come.” The darkness described by Isaiah is very real. Our sins aren’t trivial. Our sins needed to be addressed. And that’s exactly what God did. He sent his Son, Jesus—the Light of the world—to rescue us from darkness. (John 8:12)
We may have some darkness in our past—words and deeds of which we are ashamed. Jesus wants us to know that he replaced those dark sins with his bright holy deeds. He wants us to know that with his death on the cross, he has scrubbed clean our record of the past and given us a fresh start.
So open your ears and hear it well: “Jesus loves you! Jesus forgives you! Jesus has opened heaven for you!”
Lord Jesus, you have forgiven all my sins and saved me from darkness. Now help me to live and speak like a child of your light. Amen.