"O Morning Star, how fair and bright! You shine with God's own truth and light, aglow with grace and mercy! Of Jacob's race, King David's son, Our Lord and master, You have won our hearts to serve You only! Lowly, holy! Great and glorious, all victorious, Rich in blessing! Rule and might o'er all possessing!"
"It's always darkest before the dawn," or so the saying goes. It may not be quite as dark as the time for the sunrise draws near, but the expression is meant to be encouraging, suggesting that there is reason to have hope for the future. There is a hopeful sign in the sky of the approach of dawn, whatever the day might bring. The "morning star" (actually the planet Venus) appears, a light above the horizon that means daylight is not far away.
The Scriptures foretold a rising star, a sign of hope for the people of Israel. The star was not yet visible, but it was coming: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel" (Numbers 24:17a). At the time appointed by God, a star rose in the sky to announce the birth of the true Morning Star, the Holy Child of Bethlehem. Wise men followed the special star in the heavens to find and worship the Child, the King of the Jews and Lord of all nations. Jesus, the Son of God, "of Jacob's race, King David's son," had come as the prophets foretold.
Through Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection, we have hope. When we were lost in the darkness of sin, Jesus, the bright Morning Star, came to suffer and die to defeat sin, death, and Satan. On the first Easter morning, in the early light of dawn, the bright Morning Star, the Star of hope, rose from the dead. Through faith in Jesus we have forgiveness for our sins and the hope of eternal life. When we struggle with sin, when we are lost in the darkness of fear or grief, Jesus our Morning Star shines through His Word to bring the light of His hope into our lives.
Jesus said of Himself, "I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright Morning Star" (Revelation 22:16b). He reigns in glory now, shining with grace and mercy. In Jesus, our bright Morning Star, we have the promise of hope in the darkness before the dawn of eternal life. On the Last Day of this world's history, Jesus our bright Morning Star will return to herald the dawn of the endless day of life in His presence. Come, Lord Jesus!
WE PRAY: Jesus, my Savior and my Morning Star, in You I have hope. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright," which is number 395 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Are you a star gazer? Do you have a favorite constellation?
2. Why is Jesus called the "bright Morning Star" in Revelation?
3. How can we shine in our lives for others, pointing them to Jesus?
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