I have a friend who spent a year in Nunavut, the third territory in Canada’s vast north. There are many interesting facts about Nunuvat. First of all, the territory covers almost a million square miles of land and water, including most of the Arctic and all the islands in Hudson Bay and James Bay. If you were to open up an atlas to Canada, the area covers the top half of the double page. If Nunavut were a country, it would be the 15th largest in land mass in the world, but despite its size, only about 30,000 people live there.
Another interesting fact about Nunavut is that in the dead of winter, the sun appears for less than an hour in some places, which means people live in complete darkness for a large portion of the winter.
My friend, who spent the year there teaching, said the darkness seeps into your bones until you feel like there is no hope. The suicide rate of Nunavut, for a number of reasons, is six times higher than the national average.
Have you ever found yourself in complete darkness? Perhaps the power went out in a storm at night or you were camping in the woods on a cloudy night when the darkness was thick. You might have groped around for familiar pieces of furniture or your flashlight. Remember the sense of relief when the flashlight turned on and your path was lit up again? Perhaps you know someone who is visually impaired who lives his or her days in darkness.
The Bible uses light and darkness often as a means to teach about the wonderful light that is Jesus Christ. In a world of sin where you may feel life’s darkness closing in on you, the Bible gives us hope. Isaiah 60:1-3 gives us a picture of Jesus’ coming to shed his light on the earth: