“The Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace,” Luke 1:78-79.

One of my favorite times of day is the dawn of the early morning. As I sit in my comfortable chair, with a small lamp turned on and a hot cup of coffee in my hand, I experience the changing of my world from a coat of darkness to brightening light. It is a calming yet expectant moment as the night disappears and a new day arises.

As we begin the season of Advent, let’s remember Zechariah’s prophecy about Jesus’ birth. He uses a poetic phrase to describe the event that is about to happen on earth: “The sunrise from on high will visit us.” This was the fulfillment of an Old Testament promise: “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings,” Malachi 4:2. Jesus – the Sunrise and the Sun of Righteousness – is about to be born. Now each of us has the opportunity to become children of the light and no longer held captive by the darkness of sin, ignorance, and separation from God.

As the light and the new day break into my morning, it brings many changes to the earth, changes which are echoed in my life:

  • There is the change from darkness into light. The darkness represents the unknown, questions, wondering, frustration, lies, and confusion. The light brings revelation, knowledge, wisdom, direction, answers, salvation, and truth.
  • The nighttime was cold, but now there is the warmth of the sun. When our lives are  experiencing darkness we feel alone and isolated. But when the light comes we sense our place in a community, know the love of our family, and feel the camaraderie of others.
  • Where there once was atrophy, now there is potential for growth. All plants need the sun to grow. It is the same with people; we need the Sun. When the Sun arises in our lives, we become alive, flourishing, and fruitful instead of stuck and stagnant.
  • The darkness brought a sense of danger, but with the light there is security. In the pitch of dark we are unable to see and are more susceptible to fall into the snare of fear and self-doubt. The light brings calmness, peace, safety, and assurance.

Take moments this Advent season to allow the light to penetrate your heart and dissipate the shadows. Jesus is born, and he is the light of the world. He has come to illuminate your life and guide you into peace.