Scanning the headlines or watching cable news often brings a gloom over me. Every day we are bombarded with more evidence that we live in a sin-afflicted world. Wars. Natural disasters. Outright hatred within our country and beyond. Pastors who are disqualified from ministry.
To be honest, I feel the tinge of anxiety and depression when I spend time thinking about these things. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. We don’t need to cut out the lights to see darkness. It threatens to swallow us up everyday.
As we near Christmas, the time where we celebrate the birth of the Son, I can’t help but to think about the people of God who lived during the time between the two testaments. They were sitting in the darkness. They knew the promises and power of God in the faith handed down by their forefathers, but they waited in a war-ravaged kingdom that had been dashed upon the rocks of foreign armies. In the darkness, prophets had pointed the people to the coming Daylight, but it would be centuries of waiting before that happened. They lived in the great in-between.
But in His timing, the Lord sent His Son. Crawling from a dirty manger in the Middle East came the eternal Light that “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” He came into the darkness, bore the darkness on His shoulders, and conquered it by experiencing the ultimate darkness.
This is the only truth that keeps the fog of despair from engulfing us. Though the effects of sin are all around us and within us, our hope is in the Light who has come to dispel the darkness. He has turned our eyes towards the eternal kingdom that, though it has taken root in the here and now, will be fully established in His timing.
The time between the Old Testament and the New Testament teaches us that God has not neglected His promises. He has not forgotten His people. It was at the perfect time that He sent Jesus to come rescue His people. As I look toward Christmas morning, where I will read the story of the Light’s birth with my children, I can’t help but to cast my eyes upward, longing for the Light’s return.
Come, Lord Jesus.