By Brooke Holt
“The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” Isaiah 9:2
Yesterday, the most ominous storm rolled through my area. As I looked out my office windows, I saw the sky become dark, thick clouds rolled in followed by a downpour of rain and the roll of thunder. Sitting safe and dry inside, it was awesome to behold. The storm was so intense I did not expect to see light until the following day.
As intense as the storm was, it moved quickly. It rolled through; yet late in the afternoon, the sun broke through the lingering clouds. What joy my dog and I felt as we could get out for our afternoon walk. How glorious light felt after what felt like consuming darkness.
Isaiah writes about this kind of pervasive darkness in today's passage. God’s people were living in sin and rebellion, and God had removed the light of his presence. Where once the light of God’s presence abounded – joy, peace, grace, and abundance – now the Israelites experienced despair, confusion, judgement, and lack of resources. The once fertile land did not produce; hearts that had been consumed with worship of the Lord became consumed with the things of the world.
These people were desperate for the light of God to break through their darkness. And he did. The light of the world did come in the person of Jesus. We celebrate that light throughout this season of Epiphany. As we celebrate, we also are called to consider if we have areas of darkness in our lives. Are there places you have hidden from the Lord and thus allowed the darkness to hide? Has your heart grown dull to worship, or have you even quit the habit of attending church altogether? Are you lacking peace, joy, and purpose in your life? Are you struggling to sense God’s presence in your life?
There is no condemnation in Jesus Christ but a light that longs to illuminate your darkness. He longs to fill you once again, to be intimately part of your life, and to bring the joy and peace of his presence. Glorious light came in the person of Jesus, and he longs to shine that light into your life today. Jesus made the way to the Father and brought forgiveness of sins to those who were stuck in darkness. May you receive that light today!
Have you allowed God’s light to fully shine into your darkness? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus’ great commission to his apostles after his resurrection was to go into all the world to preach, teach, and baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the very beginning, baptism has been understood as the doorway into this new kind of family. Explore what Jesus expects of this new family that finds its origin and purpose in him. The baptized are called into a new life of faith. From passages in Matthew to the shining examples of faith in our passage from John, Waters of Baptism is a helpful resource for those seeking the sacrament of baptism or those who want a deeper understanding of their faith. This six week study will help us understand the importance of baptismal living.
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