“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:6-7
Wreath Directions: Light one purple candle on your advent wreath.
Read: Isaiah 42:1-9; John 9:1-7; Luke 2:8-20
Suggested Carol: Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
I don’t know what it feels like to be blind. It’s possible that you don’t know either. The closest I came was at a summer camp ages ago when I lost my glasses to the greediness of the camp lake. I was swimming with my cabin-mates, dove off a floating platform, and came back to the surface without them. I remember calling home to tell my parents, but there was nothing they could do. I was stuck with blurry vision and disorientation for the rest of the camp. It was miserable! I couldn’t see where I was going. I had to reach out for walls to balance me and lift my knees high to avoid tripping hazards.
Jesus came to be the Light of the World. As Isaiah prophesied in chapter 9, people walking in darkness would see His great light. And the darkness would disappear. Darkness is a metaphor for sin and judgment in the prophets. Light reveals truth and stands for righteousness. Jesus came to render the darkness powerless and clear the vision of those who were impaired by sin.
In Isaiah 42, we see part of the divine call of Jesus to be the Light of the World and Savior of man. In this prophecy, God the Father speaks to His Son and says,
“And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations,
to open blind eyes,
to bring out prisoners from the dungeon
and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”
Part of Jesus’ mission was to make the blind (in the literal and the sinful sense) see the truth of who God is and of who they are. And that’s exactly what happens when a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ.
I’m convinced that there are two things that every person has to come to reckon with in their lives: Who God is and who they are. The answer to one question will always influence the other. Who is God? Is He real? Is He an old man with a white beard sitting on a throne on a cloud? Or is He more like Santa Claus, counting our sins and our good works and weighing them on a scale? Who is God? The answer will drive what we think of ourselves.
We have to reckon with the nature of God and the nature of man. It’s the first two points of the Gospel message: God is holy, we are sinful, and because of that we need a savior. The good news we celebrate each Advent season is that there is a Savior and, as the angels said to the shepherds, He is Christ the Lord.
Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness (John 12:46).”
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation. We give You thanks and praise in Jesus’ name, because He lives and reigns with You in Your glory, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”