December 24, 2018, Christmas Eve
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
Our first reading today is from the prophet Isaiah, words of comfort and light that have illuminated the lives of people for more than two thousand years. The prophet sought to bring God’s message to a suffering people, people who were living amid the ravages of war. The prophet recalls the day of Midian, in which the Israelites triumphed, not because of their superior skill and strategy, but thanks only to the power and might of God. The God who shines light in the darkness is the God of Israel, who will bring us into the light.
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.
You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden, and the bar a…