On the streets of Los Angeles, a homeless man struggling with addictions stepped into The Midnight Mission and asked for help. Thus began Brian’s long road to recovery.
In the process Brian rediscovered his love for music. Eventually he joined Street Symphony—a group of music professionals with a heart for the homeless. They asked Brian to perform a solo from Handel’s Messiah known as “The People That Walked in Darkness.” In words written by the prophet Isaiah during a dark period of Israel’s history, he sang, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (Isaiah 9:2
The gospel writer Matthew quoted that same passage. Called by Jesus from a life of cheating his fellow Israelites, Matthew describes how Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy by taking His salvation “beyond the Jordan” to “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:13–15).
Who would have believed one of Caesar’s tax collector thugs (see Matthew 9:9), a street addict like Brian, or people like us would get a chance to show the difference between light and darkness in our own lives?
How has the light of Christ affected you? In what ways are you reflecting it to others?
Father, in the darkness of our lives, please help us see the light of Your Son, our Lord and Savior.
God’s kingdom is an alternative way of life to that imposed by the “empire”—the dominant cultural forces determined by those in power. While the Roman Empire proclaimed that its reign was the gospel (literally “good news”), Christ insisted that only God’s reign is good news.