Immersed in Christ: December 21, 2020
Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent
O Rising Dawn
and splendor of eternal light,
Sun of Justice,
Come! Enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death!
Dawn is not a simple experience. It gives joy, inspires deep thoughts, keeps appearing in poetry. What is so rich about it? Answers: The light of dawn is:
1. Relief from darkness.
2. Reassurance: a new day is given.
3. Promise: a new day is a new deal.
4. Variety in unity: the same sun is different in every dawn.
5. Stability with change. The familiarity of the old; the wonder of the new.
6. The far made near. The “dawn’s early light” comes from the sun, ninety million miles away. But it shines and warms here on earth.
7. The near made far: we realize our tiny planet is part of an immense universe. This expands our horizons.
8. The large made small: Our earth seems large to us; but a million planet earths would fit inside the sun.
9. The small made large: The extent of the universe dwarfs our imaginations. But none of it is beyond what we can know. Our minds can embrace all reality.
10. Power made gentle: On its surface the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At its center, about 27,000,000 degrees. But when its heat reaches us at dawn, it is gentle, comforting and life-giving. 1
When we apply all that to the Infinite God come to earth and present in Jesus, what does “O Rising Dawn” say to us?
Zephaniah 3:14-18 (alternate reading for Song of Songs 2:8-14) is preceded (v.8) by “Wait for me, says the LORD, for the day when I arise as a witness.”
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear.... The LORD, your God, is in your midst.”
“That day” is Jesus come to enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; the transcendent, never-failing splendor of eternal light, the Sun of Justice dawning new and different every day in our world, filtered through the changing circumstances of our time and space; the distant God made near; bringing light from beyond creation to draw us into living on the level of God; expanding our world, our vision, our dreams and destiny beyond the dimensions of planet earth; condensing the infinite power of God into the gentle, empowering gift of the Holy Spirit.
Those who “watch for the dawn,” keeping awake and aware, will “sing aloud... rejoice and exult” as Elisabeth did in Luke 1: 39-45. When she “heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and she was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Our experience will be like hers if we listen, remember, and keep ourselves aware of the mystery of Jesus constantly revealing himself to us in new ways. But we have to “watch for the dawn.” Otherwise, we may not notice.
Cry out with joy in the Lord, you holy ones; sing a new song to him.
Initiative: Look for the dawn. In every darkness seek new insight into God’s light.