Sunrise is my favorite time of day.

No matter the circumstances in my life or the condition of my heart, the coming up of that sun brings with it a lifting of spirit. A glimpse of hope.

The colors can be stunning, but mostly it begins with just the softest pink rising above the trees.

To see dark sky slowly filling with light is a kind of joy, quiet and profound.

Night has ended and a new day begun.

Christmas is here again with all of its sparkle. When we walk in the evening, we see candles and colored lights shining in neighbors’ homes. We pass elaborate outdoor light displays when we drive around town. We come home to tree lights and firelight.

Why are we drawn to lights at Christmas?

Our Dayspring, our Sunrise, has visited us. He came as the prophets foretold. He emerged as the softest light in a world of utter darkness.

Not a sudden blazing radiance, but a faint glow of hope for us in our misery.

A fulfilling of gospel promise.

The beginning of salvation for those who believe.

The most glorious news in the most unexpected place.

A stable, a young virgin mother, birth of a baby boy.

The gentlest promise of redemption to come.

Reaching me through ages past.

Lifting me from my darkness, illuminating my path. Gracing every sorrow, leading me to a purpose beyond this short life.

Undeserved hope of redemption. Mercy.

And a joy like the filling of a night sky with light.

Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like calves from the stall. Malachi 4:2