Sometimes it takes a little while for problems to be resolved. We go on day after day, sometimes hoping, sometimes living as if there is no hope for things to change. There is no doubt life can be challenging.
Yet, on this day, once a year we are reminded that there is hope – that out of gross darkness – light can come:
When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s sermon: Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, road to the sea, over Jordan, Galilee, crossroads for the nations. People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light; Sitting in that dark, dark country of death, they watched the sun come up. This Isaiah-prophesied sermon came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: "Change your life. God’s kingdom is here."Matthew 4:15-16 (MSG)
The prophet Isaiah had spoke of this Coming One bringing light in Isaiah 9:2, over six hundred years before it happened. How many looked for it to occur in their generation, facing unspeakable darkness, yet living in a hope that one day the Messiah would come?
And just as it was promised, He came – bringing light – the "sun came up"; this light came with a simple message – "change your life, God’s Kingdom is here". Is this what the world was waiting for? How can I change my life? What does it mean that God’s Kingdom is here – will the Roman oppression now cease? Is it any wonder that depression fell on the disciples when Jesus went to the cross and died a shameful death. It was said that He, the Messiah had come, and yet what happened, how did anything change?
I always say we have to give God a minute – for it wasn’t three days later that the entire known world was shaken at its’ axis as that "light" that the world tried to extinguish, rose to shine so bright, it would never, ever be put out.
That light yet shines, brighter than the star that shone over Bethlehem this day we celebrate His birth. It shines in the hearts of all who receive Him and it is greater than any darkness, it is more vibrant than any death sentence; and the best news is that though more costly than gold, it’s available to all who will say "yes, I believe.