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From “pitch-dark” into “a great light”

December 10, 2022

Daily Scripture

Isaiah 9:2-7

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
3 You have made the nation great;
you have increased its joy.
They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest,
as those who divide plunder rejoice.
4 As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them,
the staff on their shoulders,
and the rod of their oppressor.
5 Because every boot of the thundering warriors,
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned, fuel for the fire.
6 A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
and authority will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be vast authority and endless peace
for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
establishing and sustaining it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of heavenly forces will do this.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Israel faced dark times of defeat and exile. Isaiah warned them of that—but also told them the darkness was not the end of the story: “On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.” The light dawned supremely at the world-changing event we remember at Christmas, and the eternally consequential life that child lived: “A child is born to us, a son is given to us.” That light dawned for George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. He embraced his new sense of his life’s God-given value, left his dark despair behind, and cried joyfully, “Hello, Bedford Falls! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan! Hey! Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!” *

  • What times or experiences have left you feeling the most hopeless? All of us encounter those “pitch-dark lands” eventually in life. If you are facing darkness this Advent (or any time thereafter), you can click here to learn about the resources Resurrection can offer to help you. All these resources and more serve to carry out the mission of the son God gave to us at Christmas—to shine the light of God’s peace and love into even the darkest, most painful parts of life. And if your life is brighter this year, then find one or more ways to share that light and hope with someone else who needs it.

Lord God, thank you for giving us the gift of peace in coming to us as a child, one who would claim the titles “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Help me live in, and share, his light and hope. Amen.

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Picture of  Karra Karst

Karra Karst

Karra Karst serves on the Adult Discipleship team at Resurrection-- all locations. When not at work, you can find her adventuring with her husband, Stephen, and dog, Rosey. She enjoys a good joke as much as she does her daily iced latte.

“Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer.” *

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.” **

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” ***

If you turn on the radio or walk into any store this month, these songs will be playing on loop. This holiday season can be merry and bright for many, but it can also feel like one of the hardest seasons, sometimes simultaneously. The pressure of participating in all the activities, the fatigue of trying to keep everyone in the family healthy, or the heaviness of going through this season without someone does not seem bright at all. One of the hardest pieces of this for me is that on the outside we look fine. We show up, we laugh, we sing, and we small talk, but we struggle with feeling lost while it appears that the rest of the world seems happy and joyful.

If this is someone you know (or even yourself), I’d love to remind you that even in our overly Americanized version of Christmas, there’s still a reason to hold our hands out for hope. The celebration of Jesus’ birth each year is not just for those who are happy, but maybe even more for those who are tired, mourning, and feel hopeless. 234 days ago, we gathered for Good Friday to mourn the events of the crucifixion. Three days later, we celebrated that He had risen.

Last weekend we visited a Christmas Light walkthrough exhibit. Parts of the trail were so dark that we could barely see the trail except for small candles along the way. Each step felt like a bit of faith that we wouldn’t trip over something. Faith provides the assurance that hope longs for. There was hope for those waiting for the birth of Jesus. There was faith in those witnessing the resurrection. We can cling to hope for brighter days during this season because of the assurance Jesus offers.

Find moments of peace this month by resting, or buying a mug specifically that brings you joy, by saying ‘no’ when it’s too much and saying ‘yes’ when you need help. Remember to be kind to those who seem ‘fine.’ But ultimately, please be gentle with yourself this season. The best has yet to come–because Jesus was born, and lives today.

* “Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer.” – Christmas Time Is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio
** “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know” – White Christmas – Bing Crosby
*** “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.