On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Matthew 4:16
It was a warm summer day and my four-year-old granddaughter Mollie and I were taking a break from playing ball. As we sat on the porch with our glasses of water, Mollie looked out at the yard and said, “Look at the puddles of sunshine.” The sunlight was filtering through the thick foliage to create a pattern of light amid the dark shadows.
Puddles of sunshine. Isn’t this a beautiful image for finding hope in dark days? In the midst of what can often be challenging times—when good news seems in short supply—instead of concentrating on the shadows, we can focus on the light.
The Light has a name—Jesus. Matthew quoted Isaiah to describe the brightness that came into the world when Jesus arrived: “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” (Matthew 4:16; see also Isaiah 9:2). The effects of sin are all around us as we live in the “land of the shadow of death.” But shining through that shadow is Jesus, the grand and glorious light of the world (John 1:4–5).
The sunshine of Jesus’ love and compassion breaks through the shadow—giving us “puddles of sunshine” to illuminate our day and brighten our hearts with hope.
What darkness is clouding your day? How can you allow the light of Jesus’ presence and love to bring you joy and hope?
Jesus, while we struggle through a world full of trouble, I need Your presence. I need Your uplifting love to take me out of the shadows and help me stand in the light of Your magnificence.
The first eighteen verses of John, known as the Prologue, are theologically rich and weighty. Verses 1–5 focus on the existence and activity of the Word before His entrance into the world as a human being (v. 14). Verse 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In a very succinct way, John noted that before anything came into being, the Word existed with God and as God. Verses 3–5 shift from the preexistence of the Word to the activity of the Word before the incarnation: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (v. 3). The Word of God (see Genesis 1) is the source of life and light (John 1:4) and is credited with the creation of all things.