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From gloom to glory and grace

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Austen C. Ukachi

A few days from now, the whole world will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. His birth and coming to the earth was a turning point in history, which took humanity from the place of gloom to glory and then to grace. This can simply be summarised with the acronym G.G.G.

A reading of the prophecy of Isaiah from chapters 8:21-9:1-4 portrays that the One being prophesied about will be a man with a mission to bring a region of the world out from gloom to glory, and from glory to grace. Those six verses of the Scriptures vividly contrasts two periods described as a period of gloom to a period of glory. The contrast starts this way: in chapter 8:21-22, he portrays a dismal picture of a suffering people who are in lack, in darkness and though cursing God, they desperately looked for redemption and a Saviour, “They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness” (NLT). Then, in chapter 9:1, we see hope arising for the people, the contrast between the two periods, “Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory” (Isaiah 9:1 NLT). The opening word in chapter 9:1, “nevertheless” marks a sharp contrast between both periods; one is a period of gloom, the other a period of glory. The period of anguish did not last forever, but ultimately gave way to light and glory.

As Isaiah 9:6 later confirms, this prophecy points to no other One than Jesus. He is the fulfillment of the prophecy given seven hundred years before His birth. Though His mission started from the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, He brought great light to the people in that land and then to the world (Mt.4:12-16). As it was then, so it is now, the mission of Jesus has not changed; He came to turn the conditions of man from gloom to glory, from darkness to light, from sorrow to joy, from conflict to peace, from despair to hope.

John describes the mission of Jesus as an era of grace. “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17 NKJV). Thus, John extended the mission of Jesus from gloom to glory and grace. To fulfill His mission, Jesus had to come to dwell with us on this earth in human flesh and to die on the cross so as to pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus was precise in defining His mission on the earth. In His words: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10 NKJV). He came so that we may have exceptional life.

Thus, as we celebrate Christmas, let us understand and remember the mission of the celebrant; He came to bring us out from gloom to glory and to give us the grace of God. May we embrace Him and His mission on the earth. Contact:pastoracukachi@gmail.com


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Austen C. Ukachi
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