The Dawn from on High
"Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." -- Luke 1:78-79 (CSB)
This weekend at Reservoir Church we begin a study of the Gospel of Luke. The account of life and ministry of Jesus, his death and resurrection as compiled by the Gentile physician who came to faith likely after the events of the gospel and traveled doing ministry with the Apostle Paul.
We are beginning in a Gospel because as leaders we have recognized cultural amnesia about who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and his way for those that are part of his kingdom. Many voices suggest the teachings of Jesus are antiquated (even for those professing to be Christian). Other voices rightfully highlight the cross and Christ's sacrifice but at the same time neglect his model of care for the least and the upside-down nature of the kingdom while they pursue earthly power and influence. The hopeful thing in the midst of our moment is that Jesus has not changed. And as a church, we are endeavoring to cling to this unchanging Savior and his way.
What we will find is of course really good news. Humans are valued, called to something better than what they have known, and Jesus gives himself revealing that value and establishing the something better. Luke begins unveiling all of this with angelic visitation and a couple of songs. One of these, the Benedictus, is sung by Zechariah after nine months of being mute for doubting the angelic messenger that he would have a son with his aged wife. And his song presents more than nine months of pent-up proclamation, it represents hundreds of years of longing.
The promised Messiah was coming and in the spirit of Elijah his son, John, would prepare the way by preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins. That would always be the message. That is still the message because what Zechariah was singing about is true.
Because of God's merciful compassion, the dawn, the rising sun from on high has visited and his light has shined on those who lived in darkness. It wasn't just for then. Jesus is still shining on those in darkness, those walking through the valley of deep darkness today. His salvation, his pardon, forgiveness for our sins, illuminates the night. We are new in him. We have hope in him. And nothing can take it away.
Where are you trusting today? Does your day feel like darkness? Look to Jesus, ask for his way of peace, his pardon and promise. That you would see the dawn from on high each and every day.