Light for a Dark World - Isaiah 49:6

Ash Wednesday, February 10th

Light for a Dark World - Isaiah 49:6 (ESV)

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”


In autumn, as the daylight hours diminish, I light candles during my morning quiet time. I continue this practice into the springtime, even as the daylight increases. The word “Lent” comes from two words: the Old English “Lencten”, which means spring, and the German “Lenz”, or lengthening of  days. Lent, that 40 day season of preparation for the believer, is a time of prayer, repentance and self-denial as the daylight hours lengthen.

As I reflect on my various candle holders, the amount of light each disperses differs greatly. My solid rust-colored ceramic candle holder is just that - solid. You can’t see the light unless the flame of the candle is above the holder.

Sometimes the fragrance is the only indication that a candle is burning. The tea-lite candle in the sunflower luminaire gives off a dull glow. Contrast that with the candle that shines brightly through my cut-out dragon fly holder.

How do I reflect Christ’s light in this dark world? Is it a fragrance? A dull glow? Or like that dragon fly candle holder – “holey” or “holy” – filled with God’s Spirit so His light diffuses though me?

Jesus came into a dark world of sin. God’s call to His servant was not just to the tribes of Judah and Israel; His plan was much greater – to be a light for all nations.

There is much darkness in our Native communities –abuse, addiction, violence, lack of hope, suicide … the list goes on. While the statistics are higher for Native Americans, that darkness is everywhere in our world. In raising up Native leaders; their impact extends beyond their tribes – it is light for the Nations – to reach to the end of the earth.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, into this dark world to be a light for all nations. Thank you that by His death and resurrection, Your salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Written by Sue Gebel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin