The clock is tick-tick-tocking the final hours of 2020. There aren’t many who will be sorry to see this year end, eh? To be honest, I have mixed feelings as the holiday season draws down. For all the ugliness of COVID-19 (I hesitate to admit), there have been some silver linings in my quiet corner of the world. One of these has been extra time to study and write.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey through Darkness & Light this Advent season. God is so faithful to illuminate fresh insights in the familiar story. Scripture never gets old! Here is a recap and the final installment of the series.
In marvelous light (week 1) we learned how the Creator lovingly spoke light out of the void. From the beginning, light triumphed over darkness, no questions asked. Today He calls us into His marvelous light.
In the great light show (week 2) we heard about a great light emerging from deep darkness. Aren’t we all more acquainted with darkness this year of the vile pandemic? Then and now, the blazing life-light is Jesus.
In God’s sunrise (week 3) we discovered God’s great mercies. He is faithful despite our faltering faith. His purposes prevail. His plan is never derailed. Hope is restored as God’s sunrise breaks.
In star light, star bright (week 4) we observed celestial confetti in the form of a star to celebrate His Son’s birth. Exuberant wisemen followed the unusual sign to the doorstep of the Christ child. The sign-maker still leads those who watch and follow.
Thus we arrive at the final installment: bright morning star. With all of this talk of cosmic activity, let us not lose sight of the light source! Jesus is the Light of the world and bright Morning Star. He said so himself. Both are important to understanding His power over all forms of darkness in our lives.
Again, Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
Fast forward — from the wisemen we followed last week at the time of Jesus’s birth — to the City of David near the time of Jesus’s death. For three years as Jesus ministered, His disciples observed signs and wonders up close. They’d tried to learn His way and discern His meaning. In this, they were wise men, too.
But they were completely crushed by His crucifixion. For a few days thereafter, they felt afraid, dismayed, and betrayed. Until Jesus returned, victorious over death! Then it was just as John said: the Light blazed out of darkness; the darkness could not put it out (John 1:4).
Over the next forty days, in the company of their risen Lord, the disciples were radically transformed. By the time Jesus ascended to heaven, they were no longer fearful and slinking in shadows. They were emboldened ambassadors, embracing their calling to walk faithfully in His marvelous light.
We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard— God’s glory, God’s voice.The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. 1 Peter 2:16-19 MSG
Recall Peter, who’d stumbled so badly in those dark days? As he walked with Jesus the next few weeks, the promises and mercies of God became real, just like they had to Zechariah. No one knew better than Peter how hope rose with the Morning Star. Peter became a strong leader among the believers; his compelling testimony (above) gives weight to the numerous prophecies Jesus fulfilled.
Compelled by truth to which they bore personal witness, the disciples boldly and confidently preached the Good News to their last breaths. The hope of their souls was secure, anchored surely and steadfastly on Jesus (Hebrews 6:19). There was no question as to the power of the blazingly bright Light of the world.
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star. (Revelation 22:16)
The Revelation John received demonstrates how perfectly God executes on His plans. Jesus preceded David; He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-5). Yet born to Mary and Joseph, Jesus was a rightful heir in David’s line (Matthew 1:1-17). God’s Son was also David’s descendent. King Herod schemed but failed to eliminate the only One who could unseat him.
Let hope arise, my friend! Jesus defeated death and all forms of darkness. The Morning Star rose victoriously and our hope with it! No matter what 2021 brings, we need not be dismayed or live in fear. Will you step into God’s marvelous light this new year?