Let There Be Light

The Advent season is a time of anticipation, waiting, and preparation. During the month of December, Time With God will break from its regular format to explore selected passages and characters connected with the coming of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with Us. 


Maybe I’m a little nerdy, but the study of the properties and physics of light is fascinating and beautiful to me. In intricate and complex ways, light has physical properties of both particles and waves. It fills confined spaces and, in a vacuum, travels indefinitely, covering trillions of miles in a year’s time. Light heats our earth and makes plants grow and produce life-sustaining oxygen. It regulates our bodies’ sleep/wake cycles and causes our brains to make chemicals that regulate our moods and our mental well-being. Conversely, the absence of light is truly oppressive and disorienting.

  • Have you ever experienced complete darkness? Consider your thoughts and feelings. What was that like for you?


Isaiah 9:2

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

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 8:12

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Light was the first element God spoke into existence at creation (Genesis 1:3). It’s not a stretch to understand, then, that light is foundational to our very existence. And, just as our physical eyes were designed to perceive light, our souls were designed to perceive spiritual light and understanding.

The people of Israel had a long history of setting aside their spiritual life with God in order to chase temporal pleasures and alliances with earthly rulers that brought a false sense of comfort and security. As Isaiah spoke to them in this passage, they were once again in captivity, both physically and spiritually. Distress and devastation surrounded them, and life had become dark and hopeless.

Isaiah began this prophecy with “Nevertheless…” or “But…” (vs. 9:1). No matter how distressed, broken, and devastated the Israelites’ lives were, light and life were coming. Some 700 years later, Jesus told a gathered crowd that he was that light.

We’re not so different from the Israelites. Darkness takes myriad forms in our lives today: broken relationships; failed dreams—those for ourselves and those we dream for others; frustrating, unsatisfying jobs; wrestling thoughts, feelings, and actions that aren’t reflective of who we desire to be. The list is endless.

“Nevertheless,” Jesus… One of the most fascinating properties of light is how completely undefeatable it is. Light totally and instantaneously conquers darkness. In the same fascinating, beautiful, complex, and intricate ways physical light overtakes darkness, relationship with Jesus, “the light of the world,” defeats the darkness in our lives. As we know him, love him, respond to, and obey him, we discern right steps and paths to navigate any disorienting, paralyzing, oppressive circumstances we encounter.

  • As you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, praise God the Father that he so generously gave us Jesus to light our dark paths.
  • Wherever there are dark places in your life, offer them up to Jesus, and trust in the undefeatable, life-giving light and power he offers.