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.
Going from darkness to light can be sudden, as with turning on a light switch, or more gradual, as with the dawn of a new day. Sometimes it's a question of being in darkness, but knowing that there is light nearby, such as when we're in a tunnel where we can see the light growing larger and brighter, the closer we get to the end of the tunnel. When there is light, we can see much more clearly, be more certain of what we're doing.
This past year has been one of great darkness, for too many reasons, chief among them the coronavirus. But now we see bright signs of hope, such as with the availability of vaccines becoming more accessible. That has been a ray of light in our darkness.
So it is in this passage of Isaiah, where God points out that people can be in the dark spiritually as well as literally. Walking around in a spiritual darkness is quite disorienting. We can't see where we are going, what we are doing. But God can shine a light in that darkness, to help us to see clearly. He does this through scripture, through the preaching of the Word, the practice of worship, through our following Jesus's example in our daily lives, which gives light to ourselves and to each other.
Lent is a time of somber reflection, a type of darkness, looking forward to the great light of Easter. We are grateful for the light that God shines on us in our dark times.
Dear Lord, you are our Light in the darkness we find in this life. We thank you for shining that Light on us. Assist us in being beacons of your Light to those around us, to help bring others to You. Amen.