Oh, come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Have you ever witnessed the darkness turn into dawn? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The inkiness of the long night begins to lighten, ever so slightly. Black becomes grey, and then the grey begins to shimmer like a pearl. Tinges of peachy-pink fleck the sky, which finally give way to pale-blue as the sun peeks over the horizon.
Perhaps the picture of a breaking dawn was in the mind of Zechariah when he uttered his amazing prophecy (Luke 1:67-79). Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, excitedly foresaw that his son would prepare the way for the “Dayspring,” another term for the dawn. This rising sun from heaven would “shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
What a tender description of Jesus – born in the darkness of a stable, hidden for so many years as he grew up, unrecognized by the world as he learned the carpenter’s trade in a middling town called Nazareth. And then, suddenly, He bursts upon the scene like a sunbeam slicing through the clouds, baptized by his cousin as the heavens break open, a dove flutters down, and the Divine Voice thunders, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).
I know a number of people who are facing difficult circumstances this Christmas. Some are new widows; others have buried their parents. Victims of hurricanes and twisters are still sifting through the rubble of their lives, wondering if they can endure this “new normal.”
Have you lost loved ones, your home, your job, your health? Stand on the edge of your darkness and peer into the gloom. Don’t run back into the artificial light of diversions or pretend the darkness isn’t there. It is there – but it won’t swallow you forever. The Dayspring is about to break, but you can only see it with eyes of faith and hope. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
Picture of dawn courtesy of Jusben via morguefile.com