"Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true and only light, Sun of righteousness, arise, Triumph o'er the shades of night. Dayspring from on high, be near; Daystar, in my heart appear.
"Visit then this soul of mine, Pierce the gloom of sin and grief; Fill me, Radiancy divine, Scatter all my unbelief; More and more Thyself display, Shining to the perfect day."
When you have waited and prayed through a long, dark night of fear, grief, or illness, even the first bit of daylight can be a very welcome sight. A new day may not bring relief, but the sunlight may, in a small way, lighten the burden. Daylight may bring a sense of hope. Our hymn expresses the welcome relief of the light shining out in the darkness. Glory and light, the daystar—the sun—and the dayspring—the dawn—are celebrated in contrast to "the shades of night" and "the gloom of sin and grief."
At creation God spoke light into existence, separating light from darkness and forming day and night. He created the sun, moon and stars to mark the passing seasons and rule the days and nights. God created Adam and Eve and gave them the cool, sunlit garden of Eden as a home. But our first parents rebelled against their Creator. They decided to listen to the serpent's tempting voice instead of trusting God's Word and care. They chose—as we so often choose—to surround themselves with the darkness of sin.
The people God created and loved were banished from the Garden of Eden, but God did not leave them without hope. He promised that the woman's offspring would come to crush the power of the tempting serpent. God the Son, "the true and only light," took on human flesh and was born into this sin-darkened world to be its Savior. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). By His death in the darkness of Good Friday, by His glorious resurrection as the shades of night faded away at the first Easter dawn, Jesus set us free from sin and death. He rose as the Daystar, the Sun of Righteousness (see Malachi 4:2) and shines as the Dayspring, the bright dawn of God's love and light. Jesus presented Himself to His astonished disciples and scattered their unbelief. With His nail-pierced hands and feet, by His redeeming death, Jesus "pierced the gloom of sin and grief."
We pray in our hymn, "Fill me, Radiancy divine, scatter all my unbelief." We ask Jesus, the Light of the world, to fill us with confident faith and shine in and through our words of witness and acts of love and service, so that others will be drawn in the power of the Holy Spirit to the light of His love. We ask that Jesus' light would increase among us until the final day dawns, and we live forever in the light of His presence: "More and more Thyself display, shining to the perfect day."
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Light of the world, shine through us so that others will see in our lives the light of Your love and life. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies," which is found on page 873 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Have you found yourself in prayer more lately, or less? Why?
2. Can you recall a day when God "broke thru" into your life when you were particularly down?
3. How do you support others when they are anxious about life or in despair?
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