The world was dark. Nations fought each other with weapons and cruelty and military power. Politicians sought to conquer, individuals worked subversively causing upheaval and bloodshed and fear. Few felt peace, all were aware of black terror in various corners of the world.
The society was dark. Rich men ruled with might, there was little regard for the poor, the ill, the weak. People were trapped in the role to which they were born. Life was cheap, with a market for slaves, the ownership of another human, the trampling of rights.
Religion was dark. A myriad of beliefs, many advocating bloodshed and cruelty, most leaving people bewildered and confused. People chose their gods with care, hoping to gain protection or wealth. Some became their own god, others looked to the stars.
The night was dark. A young couple, displaced, needing shelter, a place for her to give birth. Workers fought the coldness of night on hills beyond the town as they protected their flocks.
In the night of a dark society in a black world, a light was born. A light to guide, marked by a star, heralded by angels, sought by seekers of truth. A light to pierce the darkness.
Today, our world is dark. We watch nations fight each other, hear tales of oppression. There is fear of terrorism, a half ignored knowledge of atrocities in foreign lands, a sense of hopelessness. Inequalities threaten our stability so we try to forget the poor, the disadvantaged, those suffering from problems too big for us to solve. Easier to blame their governments for unrest, hunger, climate change. It is too big for us.
Our society is dark. Overwhelmed by economic uncertainties, the distrust of politicians, the struggling poverty of the refugee, the unemployed, the disabled. The fear of instability that makes us cling to our wealth and families and careers. The knowledge that people are trafficked, trapped within our society and abused, hurt. Invisible suffering. A media that distorts and dominates and influences. Few are at peace.
Beliefs today are dark. People are emptily sliding towards addictions to alcohol, gambling and drugs. A confusion of religion that causes a distrust of all exclusive belief. The fascination with the occult, the selfishness of humanism and the pursuit of pleasure.
So where is that light, that promise from long ago? Not extinguished. Still shining. Still waiting. A continued promise. A light that will extinguish darkness.
A light with many names: An advisor to guide you – don’t you long for some good advice? A God worth worshipping – don’t you wish you knew the truth? A father who will never die – don’t you ache to be cared for? Someone who brings real peace, stability, safety. His government will exclude no one, will last forever, be truly fair.
The light continues to shine, waiting for people to open their eyes and see. Waiting to set them free.
Thank you for reading.
Modified from Isaiah chapter 9.