Frost was on the ground this morning. Cars had their headlights on, people hurried to work wrapped in coats, scarves, hats, gloves and boots. Then, as I turned a corner to walk by the river, the sun rose. The orange disc was dazzling, its brightness accentuated by a sparkling reflection in the quietly flowing water.
Shortly before the birth of Jesus, Zechariah paraphrased a much earlier prophecy: “God will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.” John wrote of Jesus as the source of life, “and this life brought light to all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.”
This is good news! There are dark days, dark corners, dark thoughts, all kinds of physical and metaphorical darkness in people’s lives today, as there were 2000 years ago. It is into darkness that God shines as he enters the world as a baby.
Sometimes the sky is obscured by clouds and rain falls like tears. But the sun still exists. Glorious sunrises are a reminder that Jesus the Light of the world is here. So we sing with joy, “Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings.”