Don’t you just love a good sunrise? Pink, purple and orange streak across the sky like colors on an artist’s canvas. Birds join the parade of beauty in heralding the rising sun. Hope and anticipation fill the air.
Now, lest you get a false impression, I must admit that seeing the sunrise is not a common occurrence for me. I actually think I might be allergic to early mornings. But today I was awake well before dawn. I just returned from a mission trip on the other side of the world, so my internal clock is still trying to readjust to the current time zone.
But oh, how thankful I am for these quiet moments before the house comes alive. In fact, it seems that it was a divine set-up for what I would read in the Word this morning.
“…The Sunrise from on high (Jesus) will visit us” (Luke 1:78b). What a fitting intro to the Christmas season!
Jesus, the Sunrise from on high. That name fascinates me. A sunrise, in all its glorious beauty, carries with it the promise of a new day, a brighter day. It bursts with hope – a fresh start, a new beginning.
What an apt description of the Christ-child. We celebrate hope, joy and peace at Christmastime, because that is what our Savior represents.
In the verses following the one above, Luke goes on to explain what the Sunrise will do. He will visit us with tender mercies, to give light to those walking in darkness and living under death’s shadow. With the first glimmer of light, the first ray of sunshine, a message of hope is born – “Down with darkness!” The reign of sin, and all the misery that accompanies it – its end has come! The Light of the World, “the Sun of righteousness, will rise with healing in its rays” (Mal 4:2).
The Resurrection and the Life is here to kill death and rob it of its sting (1 Cor 15:55). No longer must we lie under condemnation and fear of death. Hope, forgiveness and healing are here.
In a world longing for peace, the Prince of Peace is born. We look for rulers and armies, but He comes as a homeless Baby. Small beginnings – like the first glimmer of dawn. As He grows and teaches and heals, the light grows brighter.
But then, in one last effort, darkness strikes a deathblow to this Light. And the Sunrise seems to stop before full light.
But as it is with nature, so it is with nature’s Creator.
Darkness can never extinguish light.
Bursting forth in full brilliance of day, Jesus rises from the grave and forever breaks the chains of death and darkness.
Because the Sunrise from on high has visited us.
Our world is still shrouded in darkness. But darkness has lost its power, because Light has come and shone into our hearts. War and death still fill the earth. But it will not always be so, because the Prince of Peace has won. Suffering and sickness strike us all. But the Sunrise from on high gives hope and “guides our feet into the way of peace” (Is 59:8).
Our God is with us. He walked among us to set all things right. He lives within the hearts of His own, giving hope, light and peace to those who once walked in darkness.
May your Christmas season be filled with the light of this Sunrise from on high!
How does His light affect your Christmastime festivities? Any creative ways you’ve found for shining His light during the holidays? I’d love to hear!