Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Light Has Dawned

Great literature is full of contrasting themes: good and evil, truth and lies, light and dark, hope and despair - and the list continues. There is no exception in the story of the Incarnation. It is the moment of turning in The Great Story of Scripture, in all of history no less.

Themes of creation, fall, and redemption weave throughout Scripture. Themes of sin, repentance, a remnant, and renewal pervade the Old Testament and carry on through the New. Look at the first contrast in Genesis, see that God made the light and separated it from the darkness. Light and dark become themes through the rest of Scripture.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [overcome] it. ~ John 1:1-5

This Light was prophesied hundreds of years prior to John penning these words (words that echo the creation in Genesis 1). Isaiah also spoke of the division of light and dark:

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
(Isaiah 9:2)
Little did Isaiah know that the Messianic prophecy would be met in baby born under Roman rule several hundred years later. However, Zacharias knew the prophet's words. They reverberate in his song in Luke chapter one:

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
To give knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
(Luke 1:76-79)
Who is this Light that Isaiah, John, and Luke cannot cease describing? Why, He is the theme of the Story. He is the Light from on High that enters into a world thrust into darkness by pride, grasping, and sinful desires. He is Emmanuel, God with us.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgement and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:6-7)

Merry Christmas!

~ Johanna

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