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2020 Advent Devotional – Day 9

Dawn

Isaiah 9: 2; 6–7

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

Video: Isaiah 9: 2; 6–7


Reflection

In the northern hemisphere, this reading from Isaiah always suits Advent, as the days get shorter and world darkens towards the winter solstice. This year though, with the turmoil and uncertainty of the last 8-9 months, perhaps we all feel as though we are “people walking in darkness.”

Our darkness may be personal and very close to home: grief, illness or anxiety, the days before us bristling with uncertainty. Others can be worn down with the weight of the world: fraught with the political turmoil and divisiveness we are living through, overwhelmed by the health crisis engulfing the world, stressed by the threats posed by our changing climate. Like the Israelites before us, and many people since, we are certainly “living in the land of deep darkness.”

It is a much-quoted truism that only in darkness can one see the stars, but the hope that light brings to us in our darkness cannot be overstated. And this is the promise of our reading: for us, as we walk in darkness, there will dawn a great light.

Let the majesty of this verse meet us in our darkness. This is not the light of a candle stub, flickering its last; nor that of a distant star perhaps fighting the light pollution of our world. This is a great light, wonderful and mighty. A light with the power to vanquish our darkness, blazing to the depths of our lives and of our hearts.

This is the light of Christ. The everlasting light that dawns in us every morning, renewing us, bringing God’s strength and peace for us to face each fresh day. The eternal light that guides and comforts us through each long night when dawn feels remote and out of reach.


Radiant God,
Reach out to the parts of me that are shut off from you and bring me back to the fullness of life. Where I am in pain, soothe me with the reassurance that you are with me always. When I lose hope, inspire me to remember that nothing is impossible for you. If all around me, I see nothing but darkness, ignite the blazing glory of your love for me. Amen.


Reading

Isaiah 9: 2; 6–7

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.


If you’re enjoying the carols each day, there’s now a YouTube playlist you can listen to that contains all the carols shared so far. The playlist will grow as the devotional series progresses, with each day’s carol being added. By Christmas Day, you’ll have the perfect soundtrack of worship and praise.  Click here to listen.


Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.