“Those who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.”  (Isaiah 9:2)

These words welcome us into the Advent season.  This year especially we may feel like we’re living in darkness.  Not only are the days shorter but the pandemic lingers on, the climate is a mess, the economy is uncertain, politics are messy, Covid numbers continue to rise.  It may feel like we are without hope. 

Yet God does not leave us in the darkness.  It will not always be like this.  The light shining in the darkness provides that glimmer of hope. 

The prophet Isaiah is writing to people 800 years before Christ. They have endured war, violence, hardship, and destruction.  The poetic words of chapter 9 provide that word of hope to people then and to people now.  Isaiah continues on:

“For 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.”    (Isaiah 9:6) In these words, you may hear memories of past Advent and Christmas seasons.  Even though the immediate child to be born was King Hezekiah, to Christians they also speak to the coming of the Messiah.  These words inspired Handel to write the Messiah.  Listen to “Unto Us a Child is Born” performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Let us pray,
Gracious God, one cannot listen to these words and not find a glimmer of hope, remembering the vast expanse of time and space of the universe and the people you have created and continue to create.  Help us to live in the light of this hope.  Amen.