The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.

Isaiah 9:2

When the time was full in Salvation History and Almighty God sent His Son among us as His Anointed One, the people of Israel had been living in a great, oppressive darkness for centuries.

Into this seemingly hopeless world, a light came. This light pushed back the darkness and let people of good will know that evil and sin were passing things; that God was with us and would rescue and restore us.

There is a scene in the Lord of the Rings when Frodo and Sam are struggling in the depths of Mordor as they attempt their final journey to Amon Amarth, so that Frodo can cast The Ring into the fire of Mount Doom for its destruction.

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

J.R.R. Tolkien Return of the King, Being the Third Part of the Lord of the Rings

The Gospel of John announces that Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. The darkness cannot overcome Jesus!

Does this not encourage and reassure you? Do we open ourselves to this light? Do we invite Jesus to be the Lord of our lives? When things are dark and hopeless, when we cannot see our way forward, it is enough to turn to God and surrender in trust in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the is the light that is beyond the reach of all that is ill in the world.

A Light has shone in the darkness. We know what we must do as we begin this new year, so let us get to it.

Glad tidings!

Image credit: Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

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