Our Daily Bread devotional, December 24, 2016 – Christmas in Captivity

Topic: Christmas in Captivity [December 24, 2016]

Read: Isaiah 9:1–7, Bible in a Year: Habakkuk 1–3; Revelation 15

On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Rev. Martin Niemoller, a prominent German pastor, spent nearly eight years in Nazi concentration camps because he openly opposed Hitler. On Christmas Eve 1944, Niemoller spoke these words of hope to his fellow prisoners in Dachau:  “My dear friends, on this Christmas . . . let us seek, in the Babe of Bethlehem, the One who came to us in order to bear with us everything that weighs heavily upon us. . . . God Himself has built a bridge from Himself to us! A dawn from on high has visited us!”

At Christmas we embrace the good news that God, in Christ, has come to us wherever we are and has bridged the gap between us. He invades our prison of darkness with His light and lifts the load of sorrow, guilt, or loneliness that weighs us down.

On that bleak Christmas Eve in prison, Niemoller shared this good news:  “Out of the brilliance that surrounded the shepherds a shining ray will fall into our darkness.” His words remind us of the prophet Isaiah, who prophetically said, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isa. 9:2).

No matter where today finds us, Jesus has penetrated our dark world with His joy and light!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we find hope and strength in knowing that Your light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The joy of Christmas is Jesus.


An old song proclaims, “The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; the light of the world is Jesus.” How can we spread Jesus’s light? Do you have guests coming for Christmas dinner? Pray that your demeanor may reflect Christ’s care and concern. Perhaps some of us may feel a need to invite to our home those who may be lonely or neglected. Others may want to serve food at a mission and talk with those who are emotionally hurting. “Let your light shine . . . that [others] may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” This will bring joy to God, to others, and to ourselves.

This message was written by David McCasland [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]

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