Listen to this devotional:
2 Peter 1:19 – And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (NIV)
Winter mornings are so dark here in this northern country; I long for summer sunrises to colour my mornings with light. As I draw the curtains, my spirit bids me look up, and there are some twinkling stars, reminding me of the Creator's handiwork in all of life, even mine.
I remember directing a children's camp one summer when most of the campers were from the city. Few of the children would ever have seen the myriad of twinkling stars, or marvelled at the morning star, the planet Venus, holding its light against the early sun. So one clear, beautiful night, when the sky was completely full of twinkling stars, we got the whole camp up at midnight! It was a marvellous sight for sleepy eyes, never to be forgotten.
Christmas lights are slowly appearing on the streets in our city block, and we are trying to decide where the Christmas lights should go this year in our new place. Should we put them on the balcony? In the living room? Can strangers see them as they pass by? I wonder if my friend's eyes, full of tears from missing a loved one, can see them. I wonder if eyes that hold deep hurt can see them. Many of my friends have had treatment for macular degeneration. Do the lights still twinkle for them?
Perhaps we need to look again at today's verse. The prophetic voices seem to speak more clearly during Advent, like light shining in all our dark places. The message is clear. This is a word of comfort and of hope, transforming our inner sadness to wondrous joy, as we experience the loving presence of Jesus lighting up our lives. As each new day dawns, we get out of bed happily, enveloped in the glorious truth: the Morning Star has risen in our hearts. Jesus lives in our hearts, and among the people of the world, we will shine like stars in the heavens. Wow!
Philippians 2:15 – You may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (NIV)
This is the meaning of the Christmas lights; it is the language of the stars.
Prayer: Lord, today we hear Your message of old, and we do believe. Forgive us for not fully praising You for this new day. We need You, dear Lord; help us to be open to You, to Christ Jesus the light of the world. May His light shine upon us and, through us, upon others. May we shine on them as we offer the caring hand to a stranger in need. May we shine on others around us as we go forward into this day with joy, watching the moments unfold in light, Your divine light. May it be true of us today that we shine among the people around us like stars in the heavens. We can only be a light to another as You enter our hearts; please enter our hearts this day. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.