It’s Christmas … a time traditionally connected with celebrations and cheers. This time, however, it’s different — quite different. So many families have empty places at their tables, a sad reminder of loved ones lost. Others fear that soon they may not even have a table to gather around any more. What’s to celebrate? A good question, especially this year, when even the colorful lights around us don’t seem to be as bright as they used to be.
Thinking about these things reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas, as God expressed it through the prophet Isaiah,
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine upon them. (Isaiah 9:2)
What was Isiah talking about? We can read it just a few verses later,
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus Christ, Messiah, the King of kings was to be born to Israel and to all humanity. We don’t see Him born in luxury, though, nor was He born in the midst of celebrations, cheers and parties. No, He — the Most High God — was born in the countryside of Bethlehem, and placed in a manger. He came to a world gripped in darkness, a world that had no place for Him. Still, He came for us.
A Great Light Shines in the Darkness
It’s Christmas. Many today live in darkness. It is a deep darkness of the soul, a darkness that brings despair. But it is for them — for us — that the Lord came into this sinful world. It was to bring light to those who are caught in the grip of that darkness that He was born. This world, however, did not receive Him. There was no room for Him. Still , He came to us, a great light shining in the hearts of those who would not shut their doors to Him.
A world in darkness that night spoke: we have no need, no room for Him. A world in darkness today repeats the same message: give us lights and glitter! We have no time, no need, no room for the Savior! Yet, He came, and He’s still knocking at the door of our hearts. In our personal darkness, in our personal grief, will we open our hearts to that great light? Will there be room in us today for Messiah?
I hope so. I pray so, because it is in our darkest moments that we need His light the most. Open your hearts to Him today, and let His light bring life, hope and a glorious future for us all to look forward to.