The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:2 NRSV
One of the things I've found most disorienting about traveling is sleeping. Everything in the temporary place is different; the bed is too big, hard, or soft. The bathroom is in a different location. While there are plenty of lamps, it's a mystery which switches control what. If you awake in the darkness, you may grope around, only to stub a toe coming to full alertness. But that same strange place in the daylight is less intimidating. You can move about freely without fear.
Isaiah prophesied the day of the coming of a Messiah that would usher light into the world. The people had chased after idols and were living in darkness. Yet, despite the brokenness and this strange alien state, there was the promise of the coming light of Christ. In the coming daylight, the things that were an obstacle in the dimness and shadows would be made clear.
This prophecy is not some long-ago fairy tale of some hero coming to save an earthly kingdom but a true story of God's faithfulness to an undeserving people. It is as relevant today as two-thousand years ago. Jesus came to bring the light into the strange place of our world today. Amid all of the darkness, there shines a great light, the hope, love, joy, and peace found in the salvation of Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Father, for the light your Son, Jesus Christ, brought into our strange places. We freely admit we have much in common with folks in Isaiah's day. We have allowed things to come between you and us. We choose to live in self-centeredness and chase other gods. Please forgive us. We ask for your help in turning from the darkness into the light. Please take our hearts and mold them to your will. Make us the servants of your light. We ask this in Christ Jesus. Amen.