Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Light Shines Forth

Recently, after some very wonderful and very intense conversations with loved ones about the state of our culture, I grew fired up about countless problems and injustices in our country. Soon after that, I spotted Nomadland at the library and less than 48 hours later had finished it. I thought about the stories of the people in that book, and I thought about the recent lively conversations I had participated in. And I felt it all weighing down on me. And from under that heaviness, I heard the words proclaimed: 

 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing..."  (Is 9:1-2a)

This prophecy of Christ, our Light, always seems to come along when I need it. Isn't it funny how God works? 

Listening to these words ring through the classroom where I sat, I was struck by the darkness in our country. We do not have to look far to see inequality and brokenness tear people down and rip them apart. It can tug at us, nudging us to anxiety and despair. We see the problems around us, and we can grow overwhelmed at the seemingly little that we can do. 

Education, the economy, the disaster that is our country's view of morality, housing, issues pertaining to marriage, sexuality, birth, and death...the list goes on and on. There is so much brokenness, so much pain, and so many problems. 

And yet. 

To those who walked in darkness, who lived in gloom, a light has shone. A Light that brings abundant joy and great rejoicing. A Light who is Christ. 


These words push and pull my weary, heavy-as-lead heart, softening me, reminding me. God is present, God shines forth into our hurting lives and culture--and we can have hope. Lively, active hope which believes that God is in control, and that He will continue to guide us, console us, and bring us to Himself. We can (and should) fight for the dignity of the human person--which involves a myriad of factors--but we must not fall into despair, no matter how bleak circumstances may appear. 

After all, the Light shines forth. 

Hearing these words of Scripture, a prophecy from generations upon generations ago, I sense an invitation: an invitation to live in the Light and to rejoice in the goodness of God. I am beckoned forth by God, called to choose a life of courageous hope. Hope that endures, hope that perseveres, and hope that recognizes that even when manmade initiatives fail and governments fall short, God will triumph and He will always provide. 


  1. I have been having similar thoughts and discussions with my husband. I have been thinking about Tolkien's words that history is one long defeat with only occasional glimers of final victory. I have to remind myself that Christ has won the war, though He asks us to keep fighting the daily battles. It's good to hear of others like you walking this road!

    1. I completely forgot about Tolkien saying that! Thank you for bringing it up, this is such a good reminder; it's also just really great that we're all walking this together-with so much loneliness and isolation in our world, I think it's so important that we support each other in the difficult moments.

  2. As I read this, I think we need to use this understanding as a lens. As we look at all that is going on around us in our culture (and there's a lot!) we need to view it through this lens of hope. God will triumph in the end!