“Can you see it?”

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2) For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Does the start of this year seem like a walk in the dark? Does the road ahead remain unclear? If so, then Isaiah’s announcement is indeed good news for you and I today just as it was for the people of Israel around 700 BC. Precisely because God has not allowed us to remain in a state of darkness, but has provided a great and marvellous light in the form of a child, born to be King. With some relief we can see that the burden of this kingdom authority is placed upon One who stands in the midst of time possessing these four great characteristics that declare His glorious reign.

Firstly He that has stepped into our midst in the person of Jesus and walks with us on our Emmaus road is a ‘Counsellor’ and He has a plan and purpose for our journey. As He did for two of His disciples He may at times choose to do for us also; withholding His revelation until His perfect timing.

Secondly His ‘Might’ and strength should provide great confidence to all who travel knowing that nothing that we can ever face ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God’. He can be for us as He was for the Psalmist, ‘My mighty rock, my refuge’.

Thirdly we may soon tire on our journey but our ‘Everlasting’ Father promises to be an enduring and compassionate provider enabling us to ‘run and not grow weary’ and to ‘walk and not be faint’. For He ‘who is from everlasting to everlasting’ is a companion to enjoy as we learn to look upon our struggles from His eternal perspective.

Fourthly it is with relief that the reign of ‘Peace’ is upon us, should we choose to accept it. Jesus warns his disciples before his time had come, that ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’. When he greets them in the midst of the locked room after his resurrection, his first words declared: ‘Peace be with you!’

And so for each one of us this year an unknown road lies ahead, but the Light of the World has indeed come. Can you see it? If not, why not stretch out your hand today and “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” – ML Haskins.

Richard Vaughan