Reading: Isaiah 9:1-4
But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
January is my least favorite month of the year. My wife believes I suffer from some seasonal affective disorder and I tend to agree. I don’t like the cold, dark, cloudy month of January. A few years ago, my daughter and I were driving in the car and I said, “Isn’t it nice to see the sunshine!” January is just down right depressing to me!
Imagine if life was like January all the time. Maybe you like this month and for that I’m grateful. But if you are like me, you might think that this month is like the people in our text today—walking along in darkness. And then, they see the light. Jesus has come!
I don’t think it is coincidence that the season of Epiphany, when we celebrate Christ’s being revealed as the light of the world, happens during this time of year for us. Even in the dark days of January, we need to be on the lookout for the light. There we will find joy!
Help us to walk with your light in the midst of darkness, God.