The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire. (Isaiah 9:2-5)
What a day that’s going to be! The yoke, staff and rod of oppression will be broken and no longer a threat. The boots and bloody uniforms of soldiers will be thrown on the fire to provide warmth and light. The conflict will be over, a new day dawns, and a new king will reign – forever.
Wars and rumors of wars fill our news feeds. When will we no longer need uniforms for soldiers? When will we be able to lay all of our weapons aside? When will we feel joy, real joy? Joy like the harvest, joy like a payday? It seems like nothing more than a dream. It’s a utopia we don’t really think will happen in our lifetime. Or any lifetime.
We read these words and go out and arm ourselves. We look forward to that day, but buy extra ammo, just in case. After all, we need to defend ourselves in our homes, right? We do not trust our neighbors, our local leaders, our government, or those from other nations. We prepare ourselves to live in dark times.
What if we looked towards the light? What if we focused on the one who not only brings peace to our world, but reigns forever? What if we fixed our eyes on the increase of his government, which will have no end. What if our focus was on the light — Jesus?
Oh, and how about this: maybe they never found Jesus’ burial linens because someone took them and used them for fuel for a fire. After the resurrection and defeating death, he didn’t need that garment rolled in blood anymore… Just thinkin’.
Thank you, Lord, for always knowing how to bring light to the darkness. Amen.