December 26, 2022

Hope in a Dark World

“And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened Luke 2:9


The birth of God’s Son was not announced first in the temple or the palace, among people of power and wealth, but in a field while lowly shepherds tended their sheep. Imagine their surprise when an angel of the Lord appeared, surrounded by the glory of God. In the night, darkness suddenly fled because the Light of the World had been born. The announcement of the Savior’s birth is a proclamation of hope in a dark world (v11).


The Lord’s presence still causes darkness to flee, whether in a culture or an individual life. His glory in this scene gives us assurance. God has the authority and ability to do everything He promises in His Word. Jesus came and He is coming again. And this time, every eye will see Him. As believers, His return is our sure hope in a dark world—a world that still rejects Him.


Why then are many Christians content to keep this hope to themselves? Like the shepherds, we need to heed the angel’s instructions to stop being afraid, to seek Jesus, and to be His passionate messengers. These shepherds wasted no time but ran into the city to find the baby. Then they talked about all they had experienced to any who would listen. Even though they were a lowly bunch, they were brave, refusing to keep the Good News to themselves (vv15-20).


The message of Immanuel—God with us, is the most important message of all time. Where would you be if someone hadn’t told you about the Savior? Once you’ve encountered the Light of the World, how can you keep it to yourself? Philips Brooks said, “In every pew there sits a person with a broken heart.” If that’s true at church, then it’s certainly true in your office, your school, and your neighborhood.


Father, when I consider your power and glory, I have to ask myself, “Why am I such a shy messenger?” Fill me with wonder and praise that You came to die for me, and that You are coming again. Help me to be brave and to speak up everywhere I go. Help me to reach out in friendship to those around me who are desperate for hope in a dark world.


Previous devotions in this Christmas series: When God’s Plan is Different From Our PlansDirection for Difficult Decisions; and The Quiet Wonder of Christmas