Walking in Darkness

Passage:Isaiah 9:1-4

Preacher: Ben Phillips

Today's Scripture reading from Isaiah 9 contains a description of the people who lived in the region of Galilee as 'walking in darkness', but promises that a great light shall shine on them. This was written at a time when Israel's leaders were beset with a terrible decision - to ally with the powerful Assyrian Empire (and disobey God), or to reject Assyria (and stay faithful to God) but risk annihilation. Into this deeply troubled setting Isaiah writes of the nations finding joy and and end to war! This is to be accomplished, not with a greater army, or better foreign policy, or political activism, but through a child ("For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given"). What does this mean for us today? While we may not have such a distressing decision to make regarding a rampaging foreign empire, we are sorely tempted to substitute political activism for evangelism. Do we really believe Jesus is the Prince of Peace, that he will bring an end to war? And while it is perfectly sound for Christians to serve the poor and protect the vulnerable, in our day we fall into a deep trap of political activism and rely on political systems to bring about the things which our Savior promises to do.