December 1, 2020

Isaiah 9:1-2

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.

My wife and I had our first child this past April and are both loving and surviving the throes of parenting an almost 8-month-old. In Simon’s room, we’ve learned that it really helps to keep it as dark as possible. He’s drawn to lights: lamps, cell phone flashlights, even the little green light on the smoke detector, in an almost magnetic way. The work of keeping his bedroom dark, of course, is (supposed) to aid in his sleeping soundly and for as many hours as possible.

Because Chloe or I are up at least once in the night with our boy, one of the challenges we have tried to face is navigating in the dark. Even when our eyes are adjusted, it isn’t like we can just try harder to see better in the dark. We’re left stumbling and bumbling, hopefully remembering and avoiding what we left on the ground when Simon went to bed.

Isaiah’s prophecy of a light dawning on a people living in darkness is striking. This image of the “lights going on” for a whole people is hopeful and exciting as I imagine the veil of darkness being lifted and reality and life being revealed for what they really are — not just what we thought was true in the dark.

On this side of Jesus’s birth, we know that Isaiah was speaking of Jesus, this baby boy whose advent into history would change it completely as God came to dwell with his people and illuminate his love and desire for his creation to become what it was intended to be. No longer are we left stumbling around, employing our own strength for survival and success. Instead, we see the one true God by his own light, and rejoice in the freedom of walking out of the darkness and into true light and life.


— Connor Durr