Where is God? This question arises out of all pain, all tragedy, all dis-ease, all sorrow. It is the same question God's people asked in the midst of their own exile, when they were forcefully removed from their land, their temple, and their God. From far away places, they shout in darkness.
In the brokenness, in the pain, and in the darkness, God sends a savior to be a light to the nations.....and that this savior will help God's chosen people fulfill the promise given them through Abraham; they are blessed to be a blessing to others. God's people then will also be a light in the darkness.
One of my favorite stories is about one of my favorite authors growing up; Robert Louis Stevenson (he wrote Treasure Island). As a young boy in Scotland, Robert would sit out on his window at night waiting for the lamplighters to come and light the gas lamps along the streets. One night, one of the lamplighters saw him staring at what they were doing and called down to him; 'what are you doing young man?" Robert responded, "I'm watching you poke holes in the darkness."
In this advent season, we wait for Jesus, our Savior, to poke holes in the darkness of our world. Isaiah foretold that the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. We take that to mean that because we know Christ we can see the light in the darkness. However, the people that walk in darkness, walk in darkness because darkness is all they know. The savior brings light to the nations. Jesus calls us to carry this light of salvation into the world.
What darkness do we know that needs the light of Christ? Where are we willing to carry this light into the dark places of our world?