“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”
The Christ Prophesy in Isaiah 9 begins with people walking in darkness. People living in the land of the shadow of death. People under a heavy burden. People under the weight of a terrible yoke. Isaiah was describing their world.
The world needs good news. This world of darkness needs the light of Christ. Even today — especially today! — we see it all around us: the wreckage and carnage, the twisted bodies and warped minds, the moral and institutional vileness. It surrounds us. Greed and violence and lust, slavery and war, disease and divorce and death. Yes, we live in a dark world.
As followers and imitators of the God who saves us, we are charged with proclaiming the light. To preach it, to live it, to embody it, to share it. God through Christ has defeated the Evil Empire and we shout that from the rooftops. “God with us” is good news of great joy that shall be for all the people! As recipients of God’s amazing grace, as beneficiaries of his great power, we celebrate that great light today.
The light that was promised to the great patriarchs. The light the prophets proclaimed. The light the angels saw. The light King Herod tried in vain to destroy. The true light that gives life to every man. The eternal light of the world, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We join the angels in heavenly chorus, the heavenly hosts who rejoice at the coming of our King. We join the shepherds and the wise men, the lowing cattle and the bleating sheep, in praising God for sending his Son to dwell among us. We join all men and women throughout the ages, the saints of all time, who have celebrated the greatest miracle in the history of the universe.
“You have increased their joy;
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.
You have shattered the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of the oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given.”