Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Of Our Fathers Whose Almighty Hand"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 1:77-79 – To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (KJV)
Do you know the story of the Dayspring Mission? It is a fascinating story of courage, determination, and sacrifice. In the 1860s, the Presbyterian Board of Missions decided that the New Hebrides Mission (Vanuatu today) should have a large boat of its own. A vessel, large for those days, was built in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada, to go back and forth between the different islands and to carry missionaries back and forth. Her name was to be Dayspring, inspired by Luke 1:78, as we were all visited by the first Dayspring from on high.
The children of the Maritime Provinces in Canada raised most of the money to build her, so we may truly say that the Dayspring was the children's boat.
In January 1864, John and Charlotte Geddie left Aneityum to begin their long journey home, their very first visit since 1846. It certainly was time to be having a rest. On the way, at Melbourne, Australia, they were delighted to meet the Dayspring and a band of new missionaries on their way to the New Hebrides. The Dayspring made many visits back and forth from the New Hebrides to Canada, where little children went on board and dropped their offering of money into a big box that had been made to receive their offerings. On her trips home, she visited different ports, that all might feel that they had a share in her work.
This is such an inspiring story from the church's past, and it reminds us that we all have a part to play in God's mission, whether young or old, whether halfway around the world or next door with neighbours and friends. We all can share the story of Jesus, the Dayspring from on high Who has visited us!
Prayer (from the fifth century): "O Lord, direct our steps this day into the way of peace, and strengthen our hearts to obey Your commandments. May the Dayspring visit us from on high, and give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, that they may adore You for Your mercy, follow You for Your truth, desire You for Your sweetness, for You are the blessed Lord God of earth, now and forever. Amen."