The scripture reading for today from the Old Testament and New Testament reminds us about the urgency to repent from darkness of ignorance and error. According to Isaiah, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who lived in a land of deep darkness‐ On them the light has shine.” (Isaiah 9: 3). Like Jairus’ daughter, to be in ‘deep sleep means that something about us remains unconscious, unaware. We are in a stupor. We know the meaning of certain words,’ like repentance, pride, sin or the Second Coming of Jesus, ‘but they never apply to us.’ Many individuals, churches, and nations are walking in darkness and living a lifestyle in a land of deep darkness of ignorance and error. There is need for urgency to repent especially at the beginning of a new decade.

Beyond Isaiah’s optimism, the reading from the New Testament is frightful, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light; For those who sat in the region and shadow of death‐ Light has dawned.” (Matt 4: 16). In life, you are either moving through and “between deep darkness” or you are stuck in the “shadow of death.” The good news is that as Christians, Jesus enters our darkness when we walk through the tunnel and each step of the way as we walked in darkness. Jesus stands as the Light at the end of our tunnel hence, Christians can sing in sorrow and rejoice always. God is saying to someone, there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel.” Beloved, are you working and walking in darkness? Are you living in a land and a nation of deep darkness? God’s light will shine on you if you repent.

To be in darkness may suggests ignorance like the Galileans who ‘were notoriously ignorant; few teacher of the law had been among them, they did not know even the letter of the law.’ The application is that, today, there are many, ‘to whom the gospel, even in the theory of it, is a thing scarcely known.’ It is sad that the plan of salvation by the righteousness of Jesus Christ is unknown thing to many even at old age and with different church titles and positions, ‘they sit in the darkness of ignorance.’ Just as darkness follows darkness, darkness of ignorance follows ‘the darkness of error … Men who know not the truth, since they must have some faith, seek out many inventions; for, if they are not taught of God, they soon become taught of Satan.’ Until Paul had an encounter with God, darkness followed darkness. Darkness of his ignorance followed the darkness of his errors.’ Nations and churches continue to fall into many traps and pitfalls of false doctrine because they doubt the inspiration of Scripture.

Jesus entered into the darkness and despair of the couple at the marriage at Cana of Galilee. Jesus entered into the impending death of the woman with issue of blood. Beloved, God is able to offer you a word of hope and a vision of light and life. There is more to your life and marriage than present. Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee of your ignorance, errors, shadow of death and deep darkness. Are you in a situation, where you are already given up, mending the nets of your destiny, career, and health? The challenge Jesus gave to the first disciples to realise the darkness, error and ignorance they were in resonates with our situations today – the errors, ignorance, the deep darkness and shadow of death in our nations, churches and families. Jesus is saying to you and I, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Repentance opens the door for redemption and restoration. To repent repositions us for a new calling that gets us out of our darkness of deep sleep and errors in order to get us on our feet as part of the kingdom light movement. Other signs of darkness around us today including poverty, sickness, mourning, oppression, unemployment and loneliness are not the finality if one we can repent, ‘there is the opportunity to make a difference.’

To get out of the darkness, there is a job to do and there is need for a voice. We have to understand that there are many voices today like that of the mockers and mourners who nearly drown out the words of Christ from Jairus’ daughter. Today, there are many voices that tempts us and ‘who nearly keep us from awakening out of our deep sleep’ of ignorance and error. God need voices and vessels for the good news of His kingdom. If Jesus said to the fishermen many years ago, “I will make you fishers of men,” what will Jesus say to you and me today? Are you ready for Jesus to ‘make you a healer for the kingdom, … make you a card writer of hope, … make you a source of food for hungry people, a builder of houses for the homeless, a teacher for kids who need to catch up with their peers.?’ Arise and repent from walking and living in a deep darkness of sin, ignorance, and error. Jesus is able to forgive and restore.