Today is the Winter Solstice. It’s one of my favorite days of the year, not because of any merit in the day itself, but because it marks the turning point where darkness begins to recede and light begins to return.

I’m taking a breath today because all the activity of the past weeks has finally ceased and we are able to pause and remember what time of year it actually is. It’s Christmas time! I’ve sadly let the impact of that escape me. But today, I meet the solstice. Today I am anticipating the return of light.

Isaiah obviously felt the joy of anticipation as I do, for he records…

1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
6 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.
7 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.
(Is. 9:1-7 with my emphasis)

While Isaiah was only looking forward to the coming of Light, Matthew witnessed it. See how he follows the same words…

15“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
(Matthew 4:15-17 with my emphasis)

Jesus began to preach! Light had come into the world. Light that is the life of men. Light that darkness can not overcome. True Light that gives light to everyone. Jesus. And He began to preach about a coming Kingdom that will be filled with light.

23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:23-25)

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

The Lord has given us Light. He came to us by way of a manger to bring us hope and a turning point in the darkness. A solstice. The Light that came into the world as flesh and dwelled among us, is now in us, and while we await the promise of eternal light in the coming Kingdom we must shine for all to see. Especially at Christmas time. We must be as the twinkling lights on our trees and, for a little while, we must endure the darkness with hope as we shine, for  this is the verdict until the solstice of our souls arrives…”Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)  And yet… the hope of turning. Hope that began in a manger and will end in a Kingdom of glorious light. The darkness is receding. The day is drawing near. Light is on the horizon. Rejoice!