When I volunteer in underprivileged areas, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the seemingly bottomless need. How can my small efforts even begin to roll back the tide of all that is wrong in my community?

Driving through a low-income neighborhood of Albuquerque this week, these thoughts filled my mind. There were few streetlights, and I felt the weight of spiritual darkness as well. Then I saw it — on an apartment balcony, mismatched strands of Christmas lights spelling the name JESUS in letters six feet tall.

Hope sprang up again within me and I recited out loud, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” (John 1:4,5, NIV).

In that one name, Jesus, is light that shines in all the dark places, riches to fill every need (Philippians 4:19), freedom for all who are enslaved (Isaiah 61:1), and victory over all the forces of evil (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). This Light has come down from heaven and now offers His presence and peace to people in all situations. Hallelujah!

 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
 You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Isaiah 9:2-7