The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness —
on them light has shined.
3You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
4For the yoke of their burden,
and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5For all the boots of the tramping warriors
and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
God With Us
After this long period of waiting throughout Advent, we have made it to Christmas Eve! On this day, this text from Isaiah celebrates with us the beauty of God with us, Immanuel. On this day, the rod of the oppressor is broken, there is joy, peace, justice, righteousness, and light shines in the darkness. Breathe it in!
I moved to Alaska a few months ago, so I am still getting used to how dark it is up here in the winter. Just three days ago, it was the darkest day of the year. And yet, three days later, we gather together for Christmas Eve. We reflect together on the light that shines in the darkness, of God with us, who brightens the darkest days. Where full-lit Advent wreathes shine bright, or perhaps, candle-light services illumine the faces of community around you. Where we gather together to proclaim the good news of God who is making all things new, of God who is with us, of light that shines in the darkness.
May we breathe it in and be filled up with the promise and presence of God. May we not lose hope, knowing the power of what God can do in three days! May we be transformed, being a beacon of light to all around us, radiating God’s light and love into the world. May we be blessed with eyes to see Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, shining among us this day and the days to come.
God, you illumine our lives and hearts. Help us see what really matters as we move from the Advent to the Christmas season – your love and presence in our lives and the way we shine that outward. In the name of your newborn Son we pray, Amen.
Rev. Anna Silco, Shishmaref Lutheran Church, Shishmaref