A Light to All Nations
Open Your Bible
Isaiah 42:5-9, Genesis 12:1-7, Romans 4:13-25, Galatians 3:7-9
BY Erin Davis
Section 1: The Light of the World
I know it’s finally Christmas when I see my children’s faces bathed in candlelight. Every year, we pull out wooly, red sweaters and sparkly dresses and head to our church’s Christmas Eve service. Babies cry through the carols. Toddlers fidget through the formalities. Mommas “shush” their way through the sermon, but then there is a sacred moment of unfiltered Christmas spirit. The lights go out and my pastor says his final words by the soft glow of a single, white taper. Quiet wonder wraps around us like a warm, fuzzy blanket. We hold our breath knowing the best part is about to begin. Soon enough my pastor starts singing and tilts his candle toward someone on the front row. One light becomes two, becomes ten, becomes hundreds and where there was only darkness, there is now a room full of light. Jesus feels as close as the wax and flames we hold in our hands.
Isn’t this what God has been doing since the beginning? Pushing back the darkness with His brilliant presence. Giving His light to His image bearers and nudging us to pass it on.
God entrusted Abraham with the light of truth and promised to use him to pass that light to all people. His was not a calling of hoarding or hiding. That pinpoint of light expanded. God commissioned Abraham’s promised descendents, the nation of Israel, to continue this mission of being “a light to the nations,” to illuminate the path out of the darkest corners (Isaiah 42:6).
Sit in the prophet’s words for a moment. Feel fresh wonder at the gospel implications:
“I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people
and a light to the nations,
in order to open blind eyes,
to bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
and those sitting in darkness from the prison house” (vv. 6–7).
And the beam of God’s light extended forward still. In His most famous sermon, Jesus called us, His followers, to live like a city on a hill, like a lamp held high for all to see (Matthew 5:14–16).
We have no light to give on our own. We are a people walking in the darkness of our own making. Yet every twinkly light, every candlelit table, is telling the gospel story. This season is a reminder that we have been rescued from the dungeon of sin. There is a Light. His name is Jesus.
We are not the keepers of Christ’s light. This Christmas, and every moment until He comes again, we are called to be givers-away. May we enjoy the light of His goodness today and be part of pushing back the darkness with the hope only He can give.