URC Daily Devotion: 21st December

Isaiah 9:2 

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.


O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Despite leading our minds to the shadows and gloom that we know only too well, this verse comes from a profoundly positive and hopeful place. ‘Cheer our spirits’, disperse’, and ‘put to flight’ are gorgeous words and phrases can sink a warm glow deep into our hearts.

Imagine a dark room – eyes straining to see.
Imagine the depth of depression and grief.
Imagine the terror of a night in Syria.
Imagine the endless throb of pain.
And then…a tiny sparking candle is lit.
That’s all it takes to dispel the dark – just one hint of light.
One kindly gesture.
One smile.
One phone call.

The word Dayspring means ‘dawn’ – but there is something about the ‘spring’ part of that word that makes me smile.
The light; the dawn – do not just happen as every other morning. They spring and burst into our lives as if they’ve just been playing peek-a-boo from behind a curtain.

When it feels as if all is dark and death’s shadow looms – that one hint of light can come as a grand ‘ta-da’ into our broken lives; springing and cheering as it bounces on its way.

‘O come’ we sing, in hope of the light.
We had better get the sunglasses ready as His light illuminates all – and that may lead to change!




Light of the World,
Sink your glow into our hearts,
that we may be light for the dark corners of our world.
Sink your glow into our hearts,
that our own shadows may be put to flight.
Light of the World – lighten our world. Amen

Today’s Writer

The Rev’d Martin Knight is minister of St Paul’s URC in South Croydon.

Bible Version

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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