The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
~Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)
Many people can conjure an image of an old-fashioned Christmas tree, with candles clipped onto branches and the flames burning brightly, unhindered by any protective glass or lantern. At some point, though, some people began to use small lanterns, as a means of improving safety and of creating a variety in the light and colors emanating from the trees. My husband’s great-aunt, Wilhelmina (or Mimi), gave one to us a few years before her death.
It had belonged to her for years, and I can imagine the glow it cast when a candle was lit within it. The different-colored panels, with the variety of embossed designs, would have made a very pretty picture. Now, the panels are shrunken or missing entirely, and we do not light anymore candles in it.
Maybe this Christmas, some of us are feeling a bit like this old lantern. Damaged. Worn. Aged. Sometimes circumstances bring us to this point sooner than we would have expected. Perhaps we don’t feel old, but we did something or something happened to us that brings us to a place of darkness. Of a heightened awareness of our imperfections. Of a longing for things to be better.
Remember, though, that the Christ of Christmas did not come to a world restored or even ready for Him. His mother and adoptive father nearly split over his conception. He was born in less-than-ideal circumstances. The local ruler wanted him dead. Only shepherds, just slightly better than Gentiles because of their tending sheep and working on the Sabbath, came to celebrate His birth. The only gifts brought to this Baby King were from foreigners.
And His light shines all the brighter for our brokenness. We, the people walking in darkness, are witnesses to His light, we are those on whom He has shone.
Sarah grew up in Ohio, but now she, her husband, and their four children live in Texas. Her debut novel, Penelope’s Hope was released in October and she is planning to publish the second installment of the series later this winter. Sarah loves connecting with readers; feel free to check out her blog at http://sarahebaughman.blogspot.com/
Penelope is a woman with few options. Ashbridge is a man with too many options—just not the one he wants. When they meet one another through a mutual connection, will they be able to find that God’s option for them far exceeds any hope they had for themselves?