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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, December 10, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Isaiah 9:2, 6–7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (NRSV)

Many of us walk through times of darkness, whether they are caused by emotional turmoil or our physical circumstances or both. These are events that we rarely have control over, and they can lead us to feel great despair. The holidays can be a wonderfully joyful time for many but also a very difficult time for others who are alone or who have lost family members or don’t have a home or food to feed their families, let alone presents to give. When we endure dark times, it can feel as if there is no hope of ever being brought back out into the light.

This passage in Isaiah gives us hope for a future away from the darkness that plagues us. It gives us hope that God will bring us into the light, just as the scripture tells us in verse 2 that the Israelites were brought out of a time of despair and “deep darkness” and into the light.

Isaiah goes on to tell us that there is now the promise of continued peace and justice because of a new ruler named “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” What a powerful description of hope for a new leader and the great things to come.

Just as the Israelites had hope in their new ruler at the time, we too can have hope that our God, our Messiah, will bring us from the darkness into an “endless peace” and a kingdom of justice and righteousness, a hope that we will no longer walk in darkness, but instead walk in the light.

God, lead us from the darkness into light; lead us from our anguish into endless peace, from this time forward, forever and ever. Amen.

Written by Shanna Wood, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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