When the Word of the Lord came to the prophet Isaiah, he spoke to a people who, much like those of our busy and difficult times, were caught up in the struggle against earthly powers. Living in exile, the people of Israel were made to bow to idols and false gods. They were captive in a foreign land unable to sing the sacred songs of the Lord. Still, some continued to offer their worship in ways God would deem acceptable.
Today, Christians find themselves in a similar situation. Our progressive society discourages outward profession of faith. Public prayer is replaced with moments of silence, lest Christians offend others. The world insists upon secular observance of the day Christians celebrate our Lord’s birth. Demands are made for the removal of symbols, songs and language reminding us of God’s ultimate gift to humanity. How ironic that the powers that defy God insist on celebrating Christmas but stand so strongly against the mere mention of Jesus on the day of his incarnation. Certainly, people are still walking in darkness.
Isaiah’s prophetic witness bears truth to the power of God’s love. Living as a people fallen into sin, humanity walks in the darkness of a world separated from God’s love by sin. Yet God’s promises stand firm; “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6).
Overcome the darkness of this world, O Lord, that we may walk in the light of your love. Amen.