A new day has dawned
December 29, 2014
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

After a night of rest, and as the sun comes up in the east and begins to lighten up the sky, the darkness is overcome by the light; and as the sun rises higher, we find ourselves and our world in the light of day. Each new day that dawns, we receive a gracious gift from our God who has promised that “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

The prophet Jeremiah understood the blessing of this cycle, as seen in his writing to his beloved people who were living in the captivity of another nation, which they were enduring as a result of God’s judgment for their sin. He encouraged them to look to each new day as a reminder of the faithfulness of their God, who longed for them to return to Him. He spoke these words to them, including himself as one in need of encouragement.

“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

We all experience the night times of our lives, often struggling for long periods of time as we await the dawn of a new day. Whether it is due to our own sinful behavior, or due to struggling relationship(s), or due to sorrow because of a loss in our life, and so on, during these times of darkness, we are called to learn to lean more and more on the promises of God that are contained in the Scriptures, which have been more fully revealed through the coming of the Messiah.

With 400 years of silence since the last prophet had spoken on behalf of God, at last a voice came crying out of the wilderness which pointed to the new day. John the Baptist was foreordained to point to One who came to bring the Light into the dark world.

As his father, Zacharias looked upon his 8-day-old son on the occasion of his circumcision, which placed John in the covenant of Abraham, these words of prophecy were spoken into his infant son’s life:

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

In the history of the world, the new day has come. The Light has arrived to bring the forgiveness of sins to all those who are able to receive it. All who receive the Light will live in the newness of life in the new creation in Christ Jesus.

May each new day that arises be a reminder of how God brought the Light into the darkness 2,000 years ago – as a result, we live in the promise of His eventual, glorious, and triumphant return.

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