Bible Reading: Luke 1:57-80
Life can be dark at times. Filled with troubles and worries. But Jesus brings light into our lives.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Remember a couple of years ago (2015), when we all went to the Florida Keys on vacation? That was so much fun. We stayed at Sunshine Key Campground on Ohio Key. I think that one of my favorite times was in the mornings when we would load up the boat and head out into the Atlantic Ocean to catch lobster. Austin was the first grandkid to catch one, then Bradyn. Way to go guys! We made a memory.
I especially love the mornings in the Keys. If you get out on the water early enough, before the sun has risen, the view is breathtaking. Lots of times the seas are flat and calm. If you shut your engine down…it’s almost perfectly quiet. It is so peaceful you kind of wish it would stay like that and never change. You look to the east…far out across the Ocean…and very slowly you see the sun beginning to peek up. Just a pale glow in the darkness on the horizon, at first. Then a glimmer of light, beginning at one single point, begins to slowly spread across the surface of the water. Suddenly, sunbeams begin to flash straight up into the sky…one at a time…only to fall back to the earth. Finally, you see a giant yellow and orange ball begin to rise up. It almost looks like it is coming right out of the water. Then, it’s back.
The earth had rotated during the night…hiding the sun from our view. But it was always there…just temporarily out of sight. And each morning, it rises into the sky and brings a new day. A new start for the world we live in.
John the Baptist was the first cousin of Jesus. Cool, huh. Just like you guys are cousins…Jesus had cousins. Before John was born, an angel told his father, Zachariah, that he would be the one who would announce the coming of the Messiah. Zachariah did not know it at the time…but the Messiah would be Jesus. After John was born, Zachariah told everyone what the angel had told him. Part of what he said was about John and part was about Jesus. There was one thing that he said about Jesus that warms my heart. Speaking about Jesus, he said that the “Sunrise from on high shall visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS, AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace”. The word “Sunrise” comes from a word that means “east”. Remember, just like in the Keys, no matter where you are on the earth, the sun always rises in the east. It is interesting that when Jesus was born the Wise Men came looking for Him and said that they had seen His star in the “east”. So, what does all of that mean? Zachariah was saying that the Messiah, Jesus, would be like the sunrise. He would bring a new day to people’s lives. He said that people are living in “darkness” and “death”. That doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? But it is true. Life without God is dark. There is no meaning, no purpose. Life without God is death. Once it is over, it’s over. There is no hope, no future, no Heaven. So, life without God is darkness and death…you live…you die. End of story. That’s pretty dismal. But don’t forget about Jesus…the “Sunshine”. You see, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, it’s like the sun rising…it’s a new day in our life. Suddenly, our darkness becomes light. At nighttime you hear noises, you bump into things (or they bump into you!)…and you have no idea what they are (scar-wee). But in the light…you see what they are and understand them…and you’re not afraid. And then there’s death. Or, maybe not. When you accept Jesus…death dies. We don’t need to worry about dying…because Jesus overcame death and came back to life. And, He has promised that if we accept Him as our Savior…when we die we will come back to life and live in Heaven with Him, forever. And Zachariah says that when that happens you will have “peace”.
So, from now on, for the entire rest of your life…every time you see the sun rise…you will remember that Jesus has risen in your life. And when He did…he brought a new day into your life. A new day of love. A new day of opportunities. A new day of faith.
Next time you’re in the Keys (and I’m pretty sure there will be a next time)…get out on the water early in the morning. Turn the engine off…look to the east…and watch the sun rise. Then, in the calm and peace, thank the Lord for sending Jesus. Thank Him for giving you a new day.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,