An Advent piece I wrote in 2004.
Isaiah 9:1-2, Matthew 4:12
Let’s walk out and meet the morning. It is an hour or more before dawn. Wear lots of layers — it is cold outside. How dark it is! We can distinguish the dark grey of the road, the black trees, the lumps of houses, and the midnight blue night sky — impenetrable save for the diamond stars. Careful — stay on the road — without a light it is easy to stumble in the dark. There are countless stars shining their feeble light like shiny bits of glass on dark velvet. And up above us is the Milky Way. The Incans thought it was the road to heaven. They did their best to find a path to God in the dark.
If we keep moving we will eventually warm up. You probably know that most ancient nations believed the sun was a god. Many myths anticipate some aspect of Jesus’ coming. The Aztecs thought only human blood sacrifice would keep the sun rising each day. The Incans chose special children to be messengers to the sun. The Greeks have the story of Helios daily driving his chariot of the sun through the sky dragged by fiery horses. Though his father tried to save him, Phaeton, Helios’ human son, wanted to be just like Dad and tried one day to drive the sun chariot. The result was chaos and destruction for earth and death for Phaeton. All peoples were walking in darkness, longing to know God.
Look– the eastern sky is becoming pale. The dark and the stars fade. Truth is stranger than any fiction. From time’s beginning the Triune God planned the death of His only begotten son to bring mankind redemption through a new covenant. Jesus stepped off His throne and came to us robed in flesh as a human baby. The road to heaven is through Him–God’s messenger to mankind. He came not as an equal to His Father, but as a servant, laying down his life. He fulfilled man’s longing. The sky displays the majesty of a god coming: just above the horizon is a pale butterscotch; the clouds overlaying it are bright fuchsia and an incandescent orange. All stories were swept away by the True Son’s coming just as the veil of night is swept away by the sun’s rising. Jesus, the Great Light, came to all who live in the land of the shadow of death.
Wow–Look at that sky! Dark rose and pink now spread high up into the clouds in the eastern sky, and are reflected even in the west. A scarlet thread of light is seeping, bleeding across the dark horizon’s edge. Each dawn is a symbol of the mercy and forgiveness available to all through the blood of Christ. The sun shines on all people. It gives light and heat even if hidden by stormy weather. Just so, God’s redeeming love is available to all, regardless of circumstances. Now we people of the Light prepare our hearts anew to celebrate the coming of our King of Light. Let us shine His glory upon those around us who still walk in darkness and live in the shadow of death. Dawn has come; God Himself came to be with us. The sky is turning golden– here comes the great light once again.