Wednesday, January 1

Dawn on us

Scripture: Genesis 1-2, Luke 1

Note: Each year, I read a different translation of the Bible.  Last year was the NASB; this year I’m reading the NLT (New Living Translation).

Luke 1:78–79 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

Observation

Zechariah prophesies about the role of his newborn son, John, as the forerunner of the Lord, who is Jesus.  He also prophesies about Jesus in these two verses (and others).  Here he calls Jesus “the morning light from heaven” that is about to break upon us to give light to those in darkness and to guide us to peace.  Zechariah is using a common OT metaphor about the Messiah as the light or light bringer not only to Israel but to the Gentiles.  Later, the apostle John in the prologue to his gospel would describe Jesus as “the light of all mankind” (John 1:4) and “the true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9).  

And all of this is because of God’s tender mercy!  It starts with His grace, not our goodness.

Application

I love this beautiful image of the morning light dawning on us.  Dawn on us!

And I need the reminder that people are sitting in darkness: the darkness of not knowing God, of despair and hopelessness and loneliness and death.  Jesus, the Light of the World, came to dawn on us and dispel that darkness!  And to guide us into the path of peace.  The Hebrew idea of peace isn’t just the absence of conflict, but it is complete human flourishing.  God wants us to thrive in every dimension of life!

I forget that people without God are sitting in darkness and failing to thrive as He desires.  This scripture makes me want to redouble my efforts to bring the light of Jesus to others.

Prayer: Lord, please use me to bring Your light to each person I meet!  Shine through me and dawn on the people I meet!