A couple of years ago, my husband and I moved to Oregon. I’ve never lived so far north. This time of year, the sun sets early and rises late, which is something I’ve had to get used to. On top of the long periods of darkness, the area where I live has no street lights. With lots of clouds and rain (and even a little snow), we don’t often have the moon or stars to brighten up the sky. Living with all this darkness means longtime Oregonians look forward to the sun coming out, even if it’s for only a few minutes.
The whole world was in a different kind of darkness until, as Isaiah said in chapter 9, verse 2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Matthew quoted this verse to show Jesus as the fulfillment of the prophecy: “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” ((4:16, NIV, both verses). Jesus called himself the light of the world in John 8:12. He said following him means we won’t have to walk in darkness because in him we will have the light that leads to life.
Jesus brought light and life to this world, but we are still somewhat in darkness. I guess that’s why he told the people listening to him (Matthew 4:14-16) they were to let their lights shine. That applies to you and me too. As we enjoy the lights of Christmas, may we all be reminded of the Great Light who came to the world to light up our darkness and may we reflect his light in our own little corners of the world, a world in desperate need of the Son.