We’re just ten days into a new year, and we’ve already messed it up. New year hadn’t even begun when at least one hundred women reported being violently assaulted in Cologne, Germany by as a mob of men. In our own city, as the Daily Beast reported, we went all of seventeen hours before our first homicide. In Woodhaven, Queens, nineteen-year-old Jocelyn Romo was allegedly beaten, strangled, and left for dead by her fiancé on the first night of the new year.
And it’s not just out there: I’m sure that many of us have done things this year that we already regret. Sure, maybe they’re not on the scale of stories like these, but we still contribute our own share of human brokenness. It’s as if the whole human race is entirely bound up in captivity, slaves to our own desires, even if they do damage to others. We’re content to let darkness rule.
That is the backdrop of this passage, a text that teems with hope for people in the throes of darkness—both the darkness without as well as the darkness within.
Text: Isaiah 49.1–13