The people in the time Isaiah were terrified. The Assyrians had conquered the northern part of Israel and were now threatening to attack Jerusalem. The Assyrians were warriors with little sympathy for anyone. This is a very dark time for Israel. Many people were frightened and feared for their lives.
But Isaiah prophecies that one day there will be a great light. And people will come from many places. There will be abundant joy and great rejoicing. Isaiah offers a prophecy of great hope. We know today that the great light is Jesus.
This past month has placed many people in darkness. I was told that some people did not have electrical power for six days. We depend on electricity and when it is not there for us to use it is a little terrifying and scary to live in darkness. For a short period of time, we learned how to live in darkness again. And as each day passed, we became more concerned.
We need electricity to heat our homes. Keep our food cold. Would someone be able to fix the problem. I think the most difficult obstacle was trusting that someone was working to fix the problem. That someone cared about us and knew we were without electrical power.
To make it worse, sometimes the lights would come on for a few minutes and then would go off. We would experience such relief when the lights came on. But when they went off, we would be so disappointed. Maybe you had a wood burning fireplace and everyone would stand close to keep warm. Or maybe you could go somewhere where it was warm.
Finally, the lights came back. And did you make plans to get more batteries? Or some type of generator for future use? You made plans should the electricity stop again.
From every darkness we experience God shines a bright light upon us. I found many people would call other family members. They would ask if they were safe. Did they need food or water. Did they need medication. The bright light of God was the desire to help others.
Even the darkest moments of our life the bright light of God shines through. We perhaps experience this light when someone in our family dies unexpectedly. Or there is a horrific car accident. Maybe there is a divorce. Each of these are very dark moments. But through each one, we can find and experience the bright light of God. We must turn to Him and respond when He calls us.
Jesus calls the first of His disciples. The disciples experience the light of Christ. I wonder if they would have followed Jesus if they knew what the future was going to be. If they knew they too would have to carry a cross, would they have responded so quickly. We do not know.
We do know that these men who turned to follow Jesus where not perfect. They were sinners. They had their addictions, their problems, and it would take time for them to learn the message of Jesus. These men are no different than us. Jesus calls us to Himself. We know we must carry our cross, but He leads us with the bright light of God. He leads us to Himself, out of the darkness.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen