By Collin Ross
O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.
Early mornings are a common side effect of having young children. My three-year-old son refuses to sleep past six-thirty in the morning. As a result, if I want to have a quiet start to my day, I have to rise before the sun. On sunny mornings, I like to sit on our front porch swing and listen to the world awaken around me. The birds begin their melody as the crickets finish theirs, both heralding the dawn of a new day.
If I were to ask you, “What kind of a world do we live in?” how would you respond? Our answer to that question dictates how we live. If ours is a world that is ruled by wicked men, afflicted with danger behind every corner and spiraling towards destruction, then it is appropriate to hoard our resources, distrust our neighbors, and get all that we can. But is that truly the kind of world we live in? What if a new day has dawned—not just the kind I can see from my porch swing, but over all creation? If that were so, it would be wise to consider how we live in light of this reality.
This is exactly what Scripture proclaims has happened with the incarnation of Jesus. It is a new day, and so our lives must change in response. Ours is a world that is governed by Christ, where forgiveness is readily available, where mercy is poured out on all who are willing to receive it, where the peace of God is shared from person to person, and where the fruit of God’s Spirit grows out of our hearts. And though the power of sin continues to cast its shadow, its days are numbered. Ours is a world that is spiraling, not toward destruction but toward redemption.
Jesus calls Himself the bright morning star (Revelation 22:16), which refers back to Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. We yearn for the night of sin and decay to end, for the days of renewal and restoration to dawn. According to Jesus, He is the embodied announcement of that new day. Therefore, if we want to see the new world of God’s kingdom that is breaking through, we have to look at Jesus. Paul said it best when he wrote, “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1Corinthians 1:24).
And if all of that is true, how should we live? Once again we must look upon our morning star to show us the way. During this Advent season, my prayer is that Jesus would enlighten our eyes to see the kingdom that He has brought to earth, teaching us how to walk in it with Him.